Black Bulls by John Holland

Last night the black bulls came back. 

The ones I dream about on nights when sweat wets pillows and tangles sheets on restless beds. 

They look at me as if waiting for me to do something.
Perhaps to bring them a piece of reality from the waking world. 

But my pockets are turned out and empty. 

They roll their dark eyes and steam billows from flared nostrils. Cloven hooves strike sparks from dust as they dig old ground. 

Where is your cape? Where is the blade? they ask.
The one that bubbled red with the blood of our brothers? You dare come here unarmed and mindless? 

I try to tell them they are wrong. 

It was not me. Not I.
No, never I. 

But they are deaf within their rage.

reprinted from the collection “Under the Dog Star” by John Holland, available on Amazon.

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