Beggars, actors, buffoons, and all that tribe.
_ _ —Horace
Our ride took the shape of an old whinny,
all temper and steeled, stayed
but for the kick and the hay. Not
to be hitched. It was a maddening
method, an exercise for the muscle,
a wayfarer’s way for us three. We walked
the long haul. Him as the makeshift, me as
the sap, you as the heroine properly voiced
with accord. Falsity’s icon. Rein
and shoe. All for play and no
transport, though we jigged our own
terrible message—plague and drought
to your crown and thorn. Golden trifle
over-handled. Oh, you’re good
for something I hope! A bitchery
of bags to travel with! All the wisdom
says the strong head only flattens
the pillow, but they’ll go ga-ga
over the sepia dye tones of your hair,
your canary feebleness—a little tap and tune
adjusted for the count. One, two, three . . .
The dancer’s toes remain the ugliest instrument.