White Horse Laughing
(for two friends who died of AIDS)

a slotted sea     stretched blue-black
to the horizon     rolled white seams     back
to slap the sand     sshh     sshh     sshh

on the beach     we linked arms and danced
our feet churned the pebbles     white
and we fell dizzy into a heap     laughing

seated with legs crossed     three yogis
in the sand     peeled tangerines at sunset
and savored the sections     tangy with life

a shroud of fog hid     midnight's old moon
as we spread blankets     among the reeds
behind the dunes     a page of another time

first came the sound     muffled by the sea
clipping the shore     a horse     white against
the darkness     pranced over the wet sand

and we thinking     safe now in dune shadow
skipped     hopes and desires like stones
into the sea     formed ripples     circles     sshh

and we unaware     that the white horse     wide
nostrils flared     riderless     would swoop down
like a preying vulture     and seize     laughter

--Leila Rae (1995)