Through Adolescence, Run

by Amanda Preston

On my honor, there is nothing right
and I don’t want to be — I want
experience, something new — discovery —
to see eyes in shadows and intentions
in the flow of traffic, to taste honey
in sunlight and hear drums in falling rain.
I want to crash into second-waves, bubbles
erupting in memory fountains, springing
from underground rivers. I want to steal
coagulate gold locked up in dream-vaults,
safeguarding business from the debased
demons — talking animals, centaurs, dragons, sphinxes—
To mount a palomino bareback, run into dawn,
trailing stars dropped from a purse of fireflies,
to cross state lines marking
the boundaries of night, clinging to the white
whithers and straw mane of that amber mare,
riding over airy bridges, deep creases
ever-sinking into the aging brow of the world.
An art thief loaded with canvases rolled
into bones, their bright marrow feeding
the squeeze — the urgency that presses
thighs and knees into the horse’s sides,
driving her ever faster, on—

I want to break the crest
of that darkest hour against dawn, certain
it is my last foothold on native ground,
carrying the firepower of the nightmare
on my back, furies and phantoms pursuing,
to meet the shoreline as the tide recedes
from wet sand, where glittering armies,
sinking, stand against this foreign assault
with their weapons drawn, ignorant
of how their strategies come from the other side.
Only the manufacturer, the organizer,
the leader is their own, a traitor that has stolen
from their gods, as I now try;
she alone, with all her ores, knows
how to stop me.

There is no right or left of the mark
when the future-past unfurls
its banner — races before us—
I catch the whip
of its tails in watering eyes,
close enough to grab hold of in a moment—
the color bearer wanting to be caught,
not bargained with. Some mercenary
approaches from the black fog behind,
snapping at the heels of the cup-toothed beast
whose danger resides in speed and strength
and fear of things with front-set eyes
that hunt what sleeps in the night.

On my honor, I will die with her
beating drums inside
that only we can hear — to run
into the spears and shells
of the forces that lay ahead, hungry
for a blood sacrifice and treasure—
the lunar fire without flame. We will
throw ourselves at the border
panting with open mouths, waiting
for the shock that makes breath sing.

Musical composition by Victor David Sandiego

Amanda Preston is Visiting Scholar and Professor of English & Literature at Eastfield College, and is currently working on a second Master's in Applied Cognition and Neuroscience at UT Dallas. Her poetry has been translated and read in Germany at the Max Planck Institute for Cognitive Anthropology and at the Goethe Language Institute, with print and web publications both at home and abroad.

Preston additionally reads and installs work in exhibition spaces across the Dallas metroplex, working with interdisciplinary and multimedia arts collectives to create dialogic spaces out of otherwise static galleries. Her poetry has been featured by the Danielle Georgiou Dance Company, arts collective Muscle Nation, the Go West Fest Oakcliff invitational, Ro2 Art Gallery's Acoustic Synergy, CentralTrak's One Song, Three Composers exhibition, and the ritual performance installation Harakiri: To Die for Performances.


Wonderful scope encompassing a wide vista of thought, lovely picture but a little scary, in all honesty I believed it was written by a male, well done!
I would like to see the body of it painted, quite a sight I wouldn't wonder. Thank you Amanda!!!
Terry Cooper, Sep 15, 2014
Words are your paintbrush, wonderful work.
Cynthia Low, May 17, 2014
Wow!! Beautifully written and a poem that deserves to be heard again and again. Thank you for this one.
J. Glenn Evans, May 15, 2014