Sharon Doubiago

Crazy Horse

I dream he is my lover.
We lie on the hard ground, beneath a single robe, the marriage blanket.
We lie against an old wooden fort on the dark prairie.
Inside, men drink as in a lighted bar.
Across the black night I feel the others, pressing in on us.
Against the black night I feel him beside me, hard and lean.
Then I feel him out there, coming, naked on his horse.

In my oldest dream on earth I am shooting and shooting.
The small revolver blooms into red-hot and yellow flames
that disappear from me across the ravished nightland.
When he is beside me, dark and lean, he shows me how to shoot
to save his life. There are times when I am alone and know
he is trying to come to me out of the black night.
I hold off the others who crawl across the field to kill us.

He is not like any man I have known.
He takes me all the way into the male world.
There is no separation as with other men with women.
Our survival depends on each other.
We are deep sexual mates in the physical eternity.
He is the one I have waited for, my strange,
familiar Oglala.

I’m shooting into the night as they crawl across the field
to kill us. I seek him among the rifles.
When the black fog lifts, I see him afoot, surrounded.
I pull him on the back of my horse and zigzag back 
through the soldiers, the burning-red bullets.

Beneath the black marriage shawl, our clear bodies lie naked on the ground.
We are invisible. I braid grass stems into his light hair.
There are streakings all about us, arrows and lead balls,
but they disappear before hitting us. The danger is great
only if we fail each other. Through the whole night
a chorus of wolves resound from the frozen mountains around us.
Beneath our massive robe we lie in the deep ease of each’s body.
The dark. And the dark ground.

On the Holy Road he has left sticks pointing in the direction he has gone.
There I find him on the ridge above the dwindling buffalo herd,
his gun silent across his knees, watching, as if he is herding his cattle.
When he sees me coming up the long hill our eyes lock.
Behind him the storm cloud of night rolls, and thunder stirs the hair
about his waist. He starts toward me well-forward on his horse
whose neck is high, whose feet move freely. I see the splattering
of hail spots on his naked body that makes him invisible to the others.
Only the hair about his waist and the heel fringes of his moccasins
stir as he rides to me.

He takes the rope of the horse from my hand
and swings his blanket about me, holding me in its folds.
He presses the wet zigzag lightning of his face against my cheek.
I put my hand beneath his large testicles. I hold him.
We lean against the hard lean night, the enemy shadows all around us.
He is the first man who lets me love him as deeply as I know.
We lie on our sides facing each other beneath the heavy black shawl.
Our heads almost touch the unpainted building of the prairie.
In this way we join our bodies. There is no separation.
With my free hand I play with the small brown stone behind his ear.
He lies in me long, searching quietly, as with a free hand, a deep and great place.
I stir on him slowly, rising upwards, as through a flood.
He becomes a part of what is there, a hard, gold depth.
Behind his face the small red-hawk flies, making his killy-killy crying.
Without quickening his pace, moving deeply, deliberately, he listens,
he waits as I come to save his life. Only I can take this death from him,
this violet-dark son who has been killed and shines no more.
My crazy Oglala, my strange animal.

He comes out of the dark purple night, naked on his horse
but for the splattering of painted hailstones, the lightning streak down his face.
As he comes he fires the prairie, burning the grass the soldiers’ horses
need to live, filling every clear day with great rolling clouds of smoke,
the sun, blood-red, the nightsky shining as from northern lights.
I will grieve through seven generations for this sexual lover,
this sleeper on the ground. The nightearth beneath me is his body.
I cannot answer all the bright heat of the sun, most men
with their inward meanness.
He is the strange, heavy man who goes with me.
When we lie together on the ground
I am careful not to hold his arms down.