REANIMATION

Hugh glass beat a bear

became myth of resurrection

wore claws around his neck

beaded his beard with grizzly teeth.

He died twice.

The second death stripped the flesh from his bones,

but still his skeleton wanders lonely at midnight

overturning ancient stones

sifting through shifting sands

eating ghosts of monsters slain centuries ago

waiting for his Indian wife.

They say on the day the monsters broke him by the river for good

she knew

and rode to him through clutching trees, weeping,

death disguised as sunlight seeping between branches.

She was too late.

He died before she found him.

Lifetimes later,

she remembers a promise she made to his bloodied body.

Next time, I’ll save you.

Now, she rides to him again

screaming his name

hope disguised as sunlight streaming through branches

making kaleidoscopes on the dappled ground.

She wants to say,

I found you.

She wants to give him her breath.

Mouth to mouth resuscitation

200 years too late.

She keeps resurrection packed in her saddlebags, just in case.

She came back to this place by the water

for this.

Midnight.

He hides just inside that cabin.

Is he alone?

Should she knock?

Still after all these decades

 

She remembers the blade of his knife scraping a pelt.

She remembers the heat of his lips on her pregnant belly.

She remembers the unborn baby she dragged to the next world with her.

When she found him bloody like that

she weighed her skirt down with rocks

waded into the river and drowned.

I found you.

Bodies rise on waves

reanimated.

They kiss

remembering promises never broken.

This love cannot be undone by death.

This is ancient math

the magic of one plus one

equals one.

She rides

She rides

She rides

Unwinding threads of time

Unraveling ancient sins

She finds him

moonlight streaming from his skin

like water.

The baby he plants in her belly this time is made of dreams.

This child lives forever.

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