I would like the priest to say that I did not see it coming because if I did, I would have done something about it despite the fact that it's never a good look to try and fight a Pomeranian, even if it started it, even if you see, somewhere deep those tiny overplucked eyes the echo of some older thing, some glint outside the cave, the growl of what isn’t exactly a wolf, dear priest please say the thing about what wasn’t a wolf and also the thing about the feral hog, how if you leave a domesticated pig outside for long enough it becomes a hog, grows tusks and hair, how that’s epigenetics, how a feral hog’s not exactly a boar but it hardly matters does it when you’re bleeding out into the loamy floor trying to figure out how your afternoon went so badly, how you entered the ecosystem, how your story about the woods turned into a tale, a cautionary tale, the kind of tale you hope isn’t told by a priest in a non- denominational side room while the ushers check their watches, stifle their laughs, wonder what happened to the Pomeranian anyways, wandering the woods, growing its fur, finding its old wild, the priest wrapping up the story with something about nature probably, the wet hungers of nature probably, how the precise bright teeth of a Pomeranian are each the finger of God probably, each wrapped around your throat, almost like a prayer
-- James Fujinami Moore's debut collection is Indecent Hours (Four Way Books, 2022), winner of the GLCA New Writers Award in Poetry. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Asimov's Science Fiction, Barrow Street's 4x2, The Brooklyn Rail, Guesthouse, The Margins, the Pacifica Literary Review, and Prelude. He has received fellowships from Poets House, Bread Loaf, and the Frost Place, and received his MFA from Hunter College in 2016. He lives in Los Angeles.