"Red horse" by Tiago Xavier
Red horse” by Tiago Xavier

That night, I ride a red mare.

With hands frozen upon the reins,
I can not shake myself from
its saddle.
On it gallops through fields
of amber,
leaving a trail of smoke in its wake.
No scream can pass my lips,
and I weep silently as
phantom winds
murmur over my skin.

Is this a dream?

The horse halts at the base
of a valley gilded in gold,
and dips its head to drink from a brook.
My limbs loosen, and I fall to my knees
at its side.
So thirsty…I’ve never been this thirsty before…
Crawling, trembling, withering-
I claw my way to the stream,
and lower my lips to the water.

I scream.

The water is red and rotten,
no, not water at all…
it stinks of blood and
flows thickly like blood.

The mare drinks on.

Then across the crimson brook-
a figure from a memory,
someone I once knew,
dressed in tattered whites
with blood on her fingers.

“You don’t care,” she whispers.

Her cheekbones sag,
her flesh melts.
I try to cross the river of blood,
but it sears through to my skin.


She’s something else now.
A monster.
And I want to wake up,
wake up
from this wretched nightmare.

The red mare lifts her head
and screams
and screams
and screams.

So, I know this ‘poem’ is a bit abstract. I tried this exercise where I take a passage from my writing and try to turn it into a poem. Let’s just say I don’t think I quite succeeded with this one. It is a fun writing experience, though.