Walking out through the trampled marsh grass along the creek,
the air turns different—
strands of woven light unlocking space around the body.
Your brother arranged animal bones on a metal grate above the pit in the woods—
slimline jaw with teeth,
No one’s built a fire here in awhile though,
fern and wild strawberry grown up around everything.
He’s started drinking again,
sometimes walks out here with a chainsaw, comes back hours later.
None of us bother to ask what he’s doing.
I bring one of the deer skulls back into the house,
sit it in the middle of the coffee table.
The only rule of the game:
one part needs to be an animal or a thing.
· · ·
The sensation is that something is coming closer.
But it looks like any other field.
When you finally see it, it’s standing right in front of you.
You reach out, put your hand inside the wolf’s mouth.
You understand that it is a wolf and that it has teeth.
You hold your hand inside the wolf’s mouth.
Say it over and over.
You may really believe that it doesn’t hurt.
· · ·
In the story, it’s an accident.
In the story, say, it could’ve happened to anyone.
I wear your mother’s boots.
A crack of gold thick through the middle of the sky—
the body diffuse with light.
When the bee stings the palm of my hand, I hold it up in front of my face
and look carefully.
If I’m happy, then wolves.
If love, then
Kristen Heine is a poet and photographer currently living in Lansing, Michigan and teaches at Michigan State University.
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