More Gods Than Horses

Nightly, I conjure a meet,
send out the riders with their slick hooves
and manes, call in the gods.
Not those gods, those moist headed
gods, but the gods I know from council:
Matthew the Mildewed, Andrew of Chiz,
Filthy and the Squirrel of Bethini:
more gods than horses.

Each night I carve the locale on hooves
with a fine wedge, send out the riders.
Sometimes I wait hours, maybe days
in the numb few minutes before sleep.

It is not wise to divulge the fix
of temples such as these, but I will
tell you once and only. Last night,
on the other side of rain, on a weedthick
siding, by an old black shoe, in a gray
and blistered boxcar, they gathered,
as they rarely do, and spoke
in the long hiss of embers:

Go then, sleep. Rebecca the Drowned
waits. She has much to tell. But first,
you must gather forty seven shells, each
with a hole, and string them with the white
foam of her careless locks.

Image: Clint McKoy on Unsplash

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