Night hauled the moon around. We hurled inkwells at the carriage house chimney.
When I asked what happened when he drove you home she wrote F-U-C-K with a finger between girders of the silo wall.
Next: a padlock on the carriage house door. Summer’s tongue at the culvert.
Janie quiet on the bus, the vacant seats rattling, everything unhinged.
I backed into the dark until fear left me.
At school the Baptist girls asked of my father Was he saved? Our jacklit deer hanging in their barns.
I cleaved toward the Catholics, swigged their communal bottles, mornings pooling overhead.
Handheld lamps, made to catch the eyeshine. The dead not even knowing how they died.
What, if anything, to make of the false “u”? The “a” was taken by true brutes, wolves who went too far, dwelled a pace or two beyond
the timberline. As if that’s where danger lived. Those woods were my redoubt (they held more in than they did out) where boys sang stop me
if I go too far, too far itself just another town beyond the quarry. Animul says if you’re grouse turned by the season into game then, well –
it’s you yourself who calls you kill. But what is the delight of fruit if not to bare itself to beasts? Call that wulf right on this account:
little huffing’s needed to unbolt an open door. Some house, though -- clubmoss on a russet crust. Time alone would pull it to its floor.
-- Michelle Lewis lives in Maine. Her poetry and essays have appeared in several journals, including Gettysburg Review, Poet Lore, and Spoon River Poetry Review. She is the author of a chapbook, The Desire Line, published by Moon Pie Press in 2006. Her chapbook, Who Will Be Frenchy? is forthcoming (Fall 2016) from dancing girl press.