The Devil Dances on the Horizon


In the yawn of the parched desert
A thief waits to strike the wandering souls
The broken down car, the lone hiker,
The unbalanced soul, seeking vortexes
Buried answers, buried treasures
The lost arrive, the found return
A gladiator thrown into a pit of bread and circus

Too late as a fiery hand is placed upon your eyelids
Performing ceremonies, rearranging your senses,
Stripping bones of memory and flesh
To wash in the foggy bottles of rain,
Saved from the barren rivers threaded with cottonwoods
Offering cups of shade, teatime moving with winds
Brewed by the underlings, the shadows thrown under the desert brooms,
All the invasive creatures that will not be eradicated
Empowered by disgust and neglect
Cup them in your swollen hands
For one last fight

You will win when everything is lost
So sink your toes into the surrender
Wading gently into the jaws of the horizon,
The lapping tongue and swollen tonsils, clouds wedge in your jowls
Coughing on the orange dust of sand swirl
Test the waters as you swim into a saturated sun
The prickly pear stain and crimson coated cactus slabs
The pink halo blooms and fiery cholla globes, torching an entrance
Crawl through the window shards
Your ticket will be taken as you find your seat,
While the clever thief strips you of your desires and sight,
Narrowed down to one, unquenchable craving
Delirious upon the realization you will be erased

You consider the consumption
To roam the expansive halls of limestone and quartz,
To rest your bones on the warm rocks, sharing space with reptiles
Your fingers dragging along the smooth stone,
Shaped by the potter’s wheel of time
Allowing spirits to finger your pockets,
Pull your insides, leaving entrails as a warning to others
Milky white skulls, home to the skins of shedding snakes
You have entered the arena unprepared
Staring at the devil on the horizon
Wishing you wore your dancing shoes.

-S. S. Hicks





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