It’s just some dog I hear tonight
or my neighbor, too drunk,
yowling as he falls down his front stairs.
But the seasons are changing and I think of wolves
waiting just ahead of the cold, here at my door
so I can take their thick fur in my hands—
its soot and ash, its oil a balm for my fingers.
When I picture them they’re always that close,
browned canines bare but not biting, not yet.
M’s got teeth like that, stained from his animal life
and I wish he’d rip me apart nights like this,
come fast, cover me in some grizzled secret,
wish he would borrow the tight pupils
inside the wolf’s gold irises,
his quick pulse, the electric current
that cramps his legs into a spring,
force that body out of rest
and attack this part of me
that buckles, slow and sick.
Get it by the throat, before
the dead season moves in, stays.
Heather Bowlan‘s poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Nashville Review, Codex, Chicago Quarterly Review and elsewhere, and she received an Academy of American Poets University Award while completing her MFA at North Carolina State University in 2014. She is Chapbook Editor for BOAAT Press and a poetry reader for Raleigh Review.