A piece based on this prompt from The Angry Hourglass
Standing bridled before the dawn, my night-courser, my boat, firm as the smooth boulder of the old smith’s bellows, carries me across the desert sea between her hardened humps and I, my shoulders sunken, atop her saddle solid as the stone worn by the stream, am carried by she whose lineage is known to all. Born of the desert she ranges through the shadows and sharpens her ears to the softest sound, her eyes black and bulging and suspicious of ill-luck, she, the reason I, borne through this, my desolation, remain still alive.
Winds pestilent and blistering contend in the raising sand and I, journey-worn, am worn to remnants. I am what I retain after giving, the object of scorn. They say generosity is a blight on riches and I can only now trust my hunger to an arrow. This is my place of refuge, my place to withdraw. Nothing save scalding hatred do I fear. My armor of patience pierced with spears I shudder through the night like a locust and recoil from the sun like the snake they say I am. I, drunk on sleeplessness, am the land scarred by rain, the rain my tears scouring, scourging, gouging the land to expose me as the man I am: sunken.
Standing free before the dawn, my first-premonition, my beloved, walks unhurried like the gliding of a cloud, the desert before me stretching further than the eye can see and I, my eyes bright, rise with the sight of my Mayya near. Mayya of the noblest blood, whose anklets ring like a suppliant cassia rustling in the breeze, whose buttocks are rain-dampened dunes, teases the sun like a flower in full blossom. Mayya my desire, Mayya my love, no longer will our distance be the stone against which the mountain goat buts its horns. Her ear pendant I see exposed upon the ridge of her neck, her eyes the gazelle’s skimming across southern gusts finds mine and we smile, guiding our love across the endless land time forgot.
Then, like the wind and the dust the whisper of her memory bruises my heart as I watch her disappear.