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Posts Tagged ‘animals’

Kentucky Saddler

Tamed and yet unnamed, he shouldn’t
matter – beneath butterscotch hide, he’s no
Epona, no Agro, or beyond the digital paddock
of the console, no Artax. Measured by the hand

of the reward, this one lags behind
a mount summoned in from pack and icon, from when the last
levels to 40 were blanketed in gold
and toil, capped off in trainer and vendor and “Grats.”

No, he’s the work of a moment,
of lasso on loosed stallion, an achievement
unlocked in a minigame, two knobbed wands balancing
a scarred antihero in the sway of his back,

missing every impulse of real thigh and real saddle,
the graze of hand on flank, the tip of ankles
down in stirrups – the deadliest of overlooked
inventions – then ridden from the gap to McFarlane’s Ranch.

And yet – after cougar, snake, misfire, inexplicable
nothing, reins not reined in in time to stop the plummet his
rider somehow survived (thanks, perhaps, to his equine
bulk beneath) – there’s no going on,

not even a quick calculation of when the saving circle
last appeared, or how long since the loading chambers
stuttered their way from clear to full. No, with this
one animal gone, with the translation of triangle

from “Ride horse” to “Skin animal,” a simple answer:
to end the game unsaved.

 

Liner note

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