The Rider

The landscapes gush in gradations of sand, on either side of the temples irritated by the wind of the rider.

Without restraint, free, she inserts herself in the fluid movement of the animal. The incendiary breath of the desert prolongs that of the brown nostrils. On the dunes, they are only one line. Swaying of the animal’s rump; drifting towards the distance. She wears her mother’s hand-woven blue veil in tassel patterns.

The American writer strokes the blue fringe of the tassel-patterned rug on which he has collapsed, drained. Once again, he feels that his muse has run away.
She is like that princess on her horse, furious, exhilarated, free in the moment.
He unfolds the carpet, lifts it as he would lift her, and carries it to the mirror. He wraps his rough body with it and looks at himself in the badly washed mirror. He closes his eyes on his anguish.

She closed her eyes. She has never known love, but she imagines herself, in the curves of movement, in the coming and going of hooves slapping the sand, obsession and sensuality.

The writer puts a finger in his eye. He would have liked to be able to catch up with the muse. She could have unraveled his twisted ideas, he tells himself. But it’s too late?

The horse’s smooth hooves trace in an amber breath, imprecise half circles on the sand.

He will try something. He grabs a pencil. A sheet of paper on the formica table. Leans over.

The horse rears up, chisels a black shadow on the sun at its zenith. The princess collapses on the burning sand. She remains like that, her face in the sand and her hair tangled like the threads of a story, for long minutes.

The pencil of the writer raises her. She looks for her mount. Apperçoit of its black eyes a first mirage.

The pencil becomes feverish, its point is crushed on the A4 sheet. The princess stretches her hand towards the water. She sees the writer’s face undulating on the surface of the lake. She smiles at him. She has never seen features so different from those of the men in her family. She smiles back at him as she leans in to drink.

The writer stretches her body across the dark waves of her imagination.

The pencil breaks on their emotion.

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