The moon is a moue of silvery glossabove the remains of the camp;
no sounds of footsteps, they’re muffled by grass
and I’ve put out the single lamp.
He presses together my palm and thumband gently tugs off my bracelet;
unbuckles his holster, but still the gun
is left where it’s easy to get.
A pebble’s sharp under bare shoulder bladeit slices flesh open - love hurts;
the air aches in darkness and wrings the shade;
the barrel’s too close for comfort.
The day comes awake, he’s already gone -the grass is flattened where he’s slept,
disturbed earth shows where the holster was thrown
and a deep mark where the gun was kept.
He rides somewhere with the gun at his beltand my fears here weave talismans;
but victory and glory can’t be compelled,
nor peace at the point of a gun.