Breaking Horsepower

The black stallion runs onto the tracks

headlong into the train’s cycloptic  light

attempting to break its horsepower.

 

He refuses to yield to gravity

touching his feet and grounding him

into mammal again: 

 

sweat, hair, lungfuls of air,

refuses to slip his nose

through another hard halter.

 

His head and hind legs draw up.

He kicks the landscape

and the landscape flies away

 

in the blur of speed and motion,

the fight with the steel air

steering towards him.

 

The trees turn black

and all green goes away.

The ground is cut to wrinkles.

 

The stallion drops his long neck

and fumbles with his thick tongue.

He stumbles into shadow.

 

Once, a long time ago,

he was named Never.

Today, he tosses off that.

 

The clouds from the train’s smokestack

pummel the nimbus of the dark sky

and its wheels stampede flesh and bone.

 

Its cars are loaded with cattle

headed for the stockyards

far away in the west.