- Traditional American cowboy ballad.
Michael Luis Dauro is a poet, tarot-slinger, and beekeeper living in Bloomington, Indiana. He is a Millay Colony Resident Artist, Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship finalist, Pushcart Prize nominee, and a CantoMundo fellow. His work has appeared in As/Us, StoryScape, At Length, Phantom Drift, Rattle, Sonora Review, and others. Michael is also totally, unironically into spaghetti westerns and pro wrestling.
Welcome to the Poets Weave. I'm Romayne Rubinas Dorsey. Michael, what poems have you brought for us today?
Not the moon but a cattle skull risen like the Great Mother.
Her soft edges swell in the spit-thick slit of horizon. Drum & flute, holler & hoot, the sister rebel-dancers. Their wind-whipped hair a triumph of war-tarred banners. Granny song-scryers howl & hopscotch right out their zypher-heathered dresses. All that grit & glitter musses my humbug heart into a ho down critter, so I dance with them women like they was my lovers or sisters or mothers, all of us smothered in the sweet sting of cactus blossom & agave gin, & I spin, oh I spin till I’m through & through flooded with this wide desert & the holy skull above it.
Prisma—her name an abracadabra that scatters all her colors, & all the colors between them colors, into a holy chime of notes I ain’t never heard before. My mind cain’t make sense of all that glory, all that shimmer. Even her shadows be hallowed color-filled like the rainbow paper of dragonfly wings. The lights of her cloak turn like the spokes of a mighty wheel, wit each of her steps biddin’ a turn of that great wheel. She cuts a sluiceway of light through the whole desert. & where that river of light touches, up rushes golden-tongued thrushes, singin’ holy-holy-holies & oh-my-sweeties. & off come my lashes like a crash of mad comets across the wide blue, then the sky too gets to goin’ so all that’s left is a twinkle-studded dark forever-hitherward & beyond. I come to find I’m one of them points of light, & I come to reckon I’m the whole lot of ‘em too.
My mare be a mirror, a gallopin’ ocean. To drive her is to drown sister in sister. What we carry be a doublin’, an unmakin’. Most folks talk of breakin’ another as a vital affection, a bonny romance. I don’t know no more. Rider & horse set course as a shared body—one give & go for another. That can be a pretty again-&-again, I suppose. Dress it up in all the yee-haws & yip-yahs you got, there’s still one that cinches the saddle while the other tongues the bridle.
You've been listening to the poetry of Michael Luis Dauro on the Poets Weave. I'm Romayne Rubinas Dorsey.