standing beside her warhorse, iron-handed, she

smooths out wrinkles between tremulous mountains

and sighing valley passes waiting for a savior

(sharp breath;

cuts)

hot thoughts bubble in her throat

wanting to crawl out and be freed

into the air where

they would be heard and not swallowed, silently, shamed

(shadows cross;

kiss bony shoulders)

bare feet touch cold floors

she carries thirty pounds of rage and love

pressed into his oxford shirts

puts them carefully away,

does not look in the mirror

(foreign cheekbones;

foreign life)