Selected by Ira Sukrungruang
I think they are wolves, or
One is a coyote, the leaner grey one,
And the other a wolf, broad
As a table, with blue back fur.
The street is unlit but they find me.
Circling in dance and waiting —
For me to weep, to misstep.
I’m used to this. I know now
They’re wolves. Pack quality.
I do not bend to my god, or sacrifice
A limb least of use — I do not
Wish I could fly. I like this part.
We are three intelligent people
In a situation at night.
I recall the last time I was encircled
By hunters — I lay awake alongside
My first lover, on the floor
Of a virginal forest and there — out
My side view — stepped the same
Brothers, identical, nearly, to these.
It was less a threat to my life
And entirely one to my well being.
Two people making love, two
Dogs await. We fondled again, and they
Retreated, as if to say Don’t get too happy.
It’s here that they get me — in remembering —
I don’t care. They don’t like it
When I don’t care. Coyotes.
So swift. This time, there is no lover’s
Mouth to scream into, neither
In pleasure nor because my throat
Is being torn from my neck.
Marney Rathbun received her B.A. from Smith College, and is currently pursuing an M.F.A in creative writing from NYU. She is the winner of the 2016 Jubilat chapbook competition for her collection entitled “I call my father by his name”. Her work can be seen in Reservoir’s Summer 2017 magazine. She lives and works in New York.