The Mameluke—slave & warrior—springs


The Mameluke—slave & warrior—springs
out of dust & chance, astride his horse
at sunrise, one with its rage & gallop,
wedded to its flanks & the sound of hooves
striking clay & stone, carried into the sway
of desert grass. His double-edged saber
bloodies valleys & hills, a mirage,
till he arrives at a gate of truth in myth:
for a woman to conceive in this place & time,
she must be in the arms of a warrior riding
down through the bloody ages,
over bones of the enemy in the sand
& along the river in a sultan's dream,
till their child is born on horseback.