Unicorn, Poetry by Rachel Cummins

Genre: Dark

by Rachel Cummins

All my life I’ve never dreamed of a unicorn,
Me, a unicorn dreamer, I made my angel archetypes unicorns,
Me, who always wished but the realist who never believed in them
But would idly fancy one cleaving the air through inter-dimension
on the green rugby field outside the class window,

wanting one to take me away on its back forever
But they’re lost, I’d reply, belong to another place
And so wrote about last ones,
Briel, a pure and unstained brother
Had incarnations in every tale
Turns out his name is in the angel encyclopaedia (yea, there is one)

And now last night, I dreamed one,
But not without encountering some old beasts first

Last night it thundered in January
You don’t know what that means
It never thunders here
I can remember three, maybe four, thunder and lightning storms
In the last decade, the others were just lightning really,
There was a vast circle hole in the clouds
All around us,
We were on a hilltop
And my wee brother was calling where the lightning would strike next
You know, the one who called me ‘Sis’
Two of the storms have happened on the night of the eve where men have really hurt me
And did so wrongly
I was with the second one, he noticed
Thunder is that unusual
An immigrant and he knew –the timing scared him
How the wind raged all night and hammered rain –just the same
I was nice enough not to mention, this was the second time
The second heart break, and that was the previous time it had stormed like that here

How strange then, a single rumbling peal, descending lower and lower
-To herald snow??? Surreal, can’t be,
Except, this time is the first time, that I’m really angry

“you should be south'” I muttered bitterly
(how useless)

Little wonder then, that the bitch is back,
Except before, in the nightmares, they were all male
The eldest brother joins my dream tonight
To help me out; assesses the situation with a baleful look,
-“you’re dreaming black dogs again?”
-um yes, well, it’s been a while
a long long while
it’s apt
-didn’t realize I was this unhappy
not even from the awful way I cried last night

remember the jackal
and what she saw
she dreamed it beforehand
they ripped the child to shreds
right before her eyes
and that was how she knew
the unborn was going to die.

It was a long long time ago
But not too long to forget
The hopelessness they came in
When there was no way out

Another time it was me,
Helping my brother
But the roles have reversed themselves

It’s not the same as when they were too powerful
Autonomous invasions
that didn’t belong
Virile, strong and wholly savage
This one is old and hoary, white muzzle
But a killer
She ripped out Cofi’s throat (-think Amores Perros )
Before meeting me
Strangely obsessed
She won’t let me out of her company
Nuzzles me privately, pinches with two teeth
Just letting me know
She could rip it out
Anytime she likes
And just might want to

Before, there would have been no way of escaping her
Or someone to return the favor
There would have been no way of tricking her
No diversions, my brother could not have succeeded
There had been no way when one came for him

You must think I’m forgetting about unicorns
Or when he arrived
But it was not his diversion
He was already on the scene
And I had brightened marvelously
Like a fulfilled child,
But then it’s never happened
Though there’s been the finest horses
And I can ride them well
(I did when I was younger)
He’s very bold
Not willowy or frail
Not stocky but strong and built
With a spire much the same that can’t be missed
It is only when he’s been there a while
That I notice
His coat is blackened and scorched
Like he’s had to come through fire
But when he joins me later
It’s brighter than ever
It was just incidental
Like an incidental tourist come for other things
Until my brother diverts the hoary bitch enough
And says, run now, while you have the chance
And I do,
-down Pembroke
Maybe it’s a matter of choice
that makes him comes running after me
-like the dream where you came back
now it mattered to you enough

He comes
kneels down
and offers me his back, no less
I turn to my helper, dear brother
-don’t you want to get on too?
But it’s much too serious to ride a unicorn
He shakes his head
Besides, the bitch will come
Seeking her quarry
And the unicorn
Is there
To help me get away
Being on his back was like melding
To his body
I just fit there
Every line of my limb
Felt like I belonged
Riding him

    * * * * *

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