Cibola 65

Marcos (3)

Panting from the climb, eyes
on the trail, the friar
almost runs into
his guide, who stands
with an arm outstretched behind
to stop him short. Then

without turning
his head, hooks
a fold of Marcos’s habit
& tugs him forward like
a trout, breathes in his ear: Mirad.
Look.
Within arrow’s range down
the slope, beyond
the pines with
their filigreed shadows
a meadow traversed
by a winding creek, sunlight
playing on the water

& there on the far bank
two animals lying down together
in the vast & reverent stillness.
The smaller one glows a burnished
copper flecked with white–
un ciervito, a fawn–
cradled by the golden
longtailed form that just then

raises her bowed head
to intercept
their gaze. A glimpse
of dripping jaws & tongue,
whiskered face stained red, before
she rises

& with one liquid
motion leaps
& vanishes.

(To be continued.)

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