What the unicorn said -

"The": end of number; all definitive short word. No, not renewing like "the Pope"; specific, like "the Lion". But: "Alive there is one unicorn - and no more hope". Pride, then ("the Sun", "the Devil")? - and with scope for I am That I am? No: such a boast is ash in the true anguish of the ghost. No-one remembers, or would guess, the days when fresh Arcadia rand with floods of white innumerable us; a gentian-blaze of eye and fury in that blizzard; a light like storm on armour, splintering from our flight and ecstasy of hooves; colossal thorns, outblading the wild pastures, our flung horns. None would have guessed those gale-dishevelling herds mortal: can seas be censored, grains ungrow? Is there a mantra for abolishing birds? A down-clock universe - "hold in your hand, and blow"? A long day's curfew crippled lizards, though; yet we, ten-maring, felt the narrow breath (when twos presented), not the bite, of death. Clitoris-horned, our mares, grown mirage-hot (therefore, perhaps) for zebra, horse and ass and all bare-browed. Leahs and Rachels - not those little running dulcimers, tinkling glass- and-flower lutes of lechery - the grass hushed their diminishment, then their oblivion: and we must breed from Rahab, or from none. Oh, but the harlot! To be counted hers! We did not mount. And so the monsters bred - zebras monocerots, two-horned onagers, bizarre and puny throws less horrible dead: and they died soon. But nothing came instead, except our aging, our subtraction, and a folly that was fatal. Understand: no virgins past the teat, a fester of ephemeral hybrids where the matrons lay by shidders of impotence in our stallions: love, and dark desire, found-out a twisted way. Oh damsels in the fountains' disarray, naked and white as we, should we have known your pure and alien flesh would fell our own? Bird-subtly out of thickets, the wide lawn their voted cloister, we would peep, appalled to feel (but rule) the rigour of the faun. They knew our presence, though; and if they called, gentler than snowflakes on an emerald we would approach them, trembling, horns abased before a joy so beautiful yet chaste. Then we were taught they were all sovereign, those horns, that, only dipped into the pool, they gave elixir against age and pain, amnesty from unease. In the mild school our nymphs had lured us to, the virgin rule they kissed us to, how should we grudge at all the symbols of what made us animal? Not without pain does keratin saw-through, nor its pink-jelly lining; but we bored anguish corollary with loss, our blue eyes tearless. "Only wonder and adore", we thought, "for, being pure, we need no more". Yes? But the combats of the flesh are fierce; now we could spurn, indeed, but could not pierce. Love, do you understand? Nothing but that, nothing but that, though barren, lethal, bent by the deviant gravity the mares begat: released into the nymphs' clear firmament, its nova-light must outrage on till spent - in which our planetary conscripts' death was prompt and sure as gnats' in dragon's-breath. Hate, the known murderer, is a suicide as well: burn strongly, and the dark is sure - yes, even love's, yes, even love's: we died of that fire. I have days to live; and your one hope is this: cold only will endure. "We must love one another or die"? Understand: where alone we could love, the word is "and".