Two Darlings

by Max Hjortsberg

I followed you for no reason at all.
The path was worn and rounded like a trough.
Hoof prints in the dirt, camp robber calling,
The clouds painted in the sky only move
When I blink, thunderheads over the ridge.
The knife in my belt is cold to the touch.
At the dance it was hidden in my boot.
The struggle to survive is violent,
Forgotten after a generation
The bitter taste of blood lost to the palate.
Now what needs doing most comes last of all.
I know that one day you will forgive me.
Later on, alone in the creek bottom,
Let wild rose petals melt on your tongue.