Piece Pipes

Written by: Angela Fabunan

Peace Pipes


I.

Critics came in hordes
filling the rolling hills of Troy
carting a gift, shadowed.

The moon looked
a silvery wraith
sliced between trees.

Paris stood still, even as it came—
Staring at the dark dot, 
he thought up carriages.

Meanwhile, Helen paced affront him, piratess—
Clutched hands, brow furrowed,
teased by a narrow word.

Concentrated, they bet to see who could reach
the first arm over 
the insides of that horse.

--

Basho confessed:
his horse ate hibiscus, too, 
along the roadside

--

In pursuit,
Paris lamented—
sang songs,
asked his master

Where to find
another 
horse?

He lowered himself
to peer into the round
bright pupils of horses lining his stable 
like chrysanthemum by the roadside
or books stacked upright in libraries.

--

The horse’s footsteps
reverberated fully,
its shoes neighed 
at the stones which sat 
at the embankment 
rounding the castle.

--

And Helen—searching for rites,
perusing a Bible in her tub—
could not, like bread, rise.

--

Here, the horse said:

All the world is selfish, 
all selves self-aware 
of idle minutia. 

The dust will settle
where it will,
in the wherewithal

of time, when 
it shall be most 
mobile, most able.

--

She, overflowing with water, shot up 
for the incoming guests—
paralyzed Pandora.



II.

In pursuit, 
Paris lamented

Where to find
another—?

He lowered himself, 
like Narcissus to peer 
under ground, at the pupils 
of horses laying as
they lined the silver river, 
their spines like books 
stripped of order.

--

And still Helen 
could not, like 
bread, rise again—

Until Paris walked in, 
feet like drums.

Helen, an Aphrodite without arms,
returned his fervent look as only

A frozen Galatea could.

--

Paris sat 
under a tree,
catching pine nuts—
open-mouthed squirrel.

--

When the horse stretched
Its tongue out, 
Blowing breath
Into both their eyes, 
A wraith of smoke escaped.