p o e t r y
the coyote that came to town
I came stinking like mange with luggage from
the Mercury Theater. I spoke in tongues about wars
of worlds and things that go bump in the night.
The town watched me from their cottage windows
waiting for me to turn back into a person. I was
a werewolf that silver couldn’t kill. Dog-faced
and dog-tired. Living in a lunar landscape,
an autumn equinox. They asked me if I was
a coyote. If I ate dead birds. If I ran at the sound of
clapping hands and toy guns. I told them my mother
was a satellite and my father was a space station
and that I was cold from my own orbit. Someone says
that wild dogs stink like country death. The town roars
and I fall from earth’s surface. I fall back to Wisconsin.
as we go
as we go, arm in arm and nose to nose,
you pinch my tongue between your forefinger
and thumb to keep my words from falling
onto the ground. as we go on
towards the palm leaves of a foreign shore
you stamp out the honeysuckle bushes
because you are tired of the bees that hum
and wink in the sweet white blooms.
as we go, deeper into the heat
i pinch my nose and fall back. i baptize myself
in the sweat from your palms. and as we go
deeper, ever closer to your jungle that is thick
and balmy you unbutton the blouse
that clings to my body like the ghost
of my grandmother. she turns her eyes from me.
you molt your winter’s snake skin and sizzle
like a worm on bleached pavement as we go on
pushing our hands into love’s thick molasses. my body
opens to the sky like a speckled orchid as we go beyond
the intimacy of familiar summer sweat. we are somewhere
beyond the border, a tropic of cancer
flushing out my tropic of capricorn
as we go, arm in arm, face to face,
sleepless and overheated. rising like plumes of smoke.
Samantha (Sam) Harrison is an English major studying at Franklin College. In her free time, she enjoys doodling cartoons, gardening, or going thrift shopping. She has a soft spot for confessional poetry and Kurt Vonnegut's short stories. She posts occasional thoughts and doodles on her Twitter @stringwormsam.