Ekiwah Adler-Belendez

The Palm Reader & Fire Horse
February 22, 2019 Adler-Belendez Ekiwah

The palm reader


These blithe lines

across your open upturned hand—seem


To do absolutely nothing.


But watch how the small marks

that ring the summit of your five fingers

trickle down through even thinner rivulets of wrinkles

to turn into the widening noiseless

streams of your palm.


Certain lines

plummet way past the edges of your bones

and converge in a whirlpool of nearly endless space

where their flowing—remains invisible.


Yet as you wait

you can hear and see them this time

rushing out of you

and past you again


these lines from your hand

that I type and sound out now

through the channel of your half opened mouth

and spiraling fingertips.






Fire horse


Helios: The sun personified as a god, father of Phaethon.

He is generally represented as a charioteer driving daily from east to west across the sky.

—The Oxford Dictionary


Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth

and to make people kill each other. To him was given a large sword.

The Bible (New international version)



No horses ever eat there.


But those of us who clean the barn

see the oats and hay glisten suddenly with red and amber light

and hear for a few moments in the shifting breeze

the clink and clank of invisible hoofs.


We are warmed even by the hope

that a horse from the chariot of the radiant sun itself

comes at dawn and dusk low enough


with its rippling coat of fire

briskly to eat a few

of the humble treats offer.


But it easy to be lazy

when it comes to feeding a horse

that can’t be seen.


Easier still to use a holy book

that mentions a flaming horse

to be feared. Say when that horse comes

in the final hour just before nightfall— those large red nostrils

will be spitting decease and devastating fire

and there shall be no peace.


We make the most sinister prophecies come true.

As we make war and the blood trots out of our bodies

we finally see and hear—in the ever widening pools of blood

in the bombs, the guns the explosions, our self inflected deaths—a blasting  braying

a terrifying and terrified horse of fire—burned and burning.

Born in Morelos, Mexico, in 1987, EkiwahAdler-Beléndez is the author of Soy (I Am), Palabras Inagotables (Never-ending Words), Weaver, and Love on Wheels.  Ekiwah is a graduate of Bard College at Simon’s Rock and Hampshire College, where he studied poetry, theater, and world religions. His life story and poetry have been featured on NBC Dateline, he was awarded an Honorable Mention for the contest Premio Nacional de la Juventud, (National Prize for the Youth), and he was twice granted a six-month scholarship by the FONCA (the National Institute for Support of the Arts). Ekiwah has given numerous talks, readings, and workshops at colleges, high-schools, and festivals in both Mexico and the United States.