This time the werewolf saves the women
in the village; carries them off
by their hair while their dresses are torn
on rocks and sticks in the forest. The women
scream and kick, yet he trudges onward.
This fearless animal lugs eleven
with one arm; in this other fist, he clasps
a locket with my name on it: catharine. Inside
is the photo from a barbeque, 2008, corn on the cob,
(teaching the boy how to husk), hamburgers,
ketchup, and arm wrestling with the overweight friend.
Memories he clings to as he saves all
the women from romance. Why take the chance?
He must take them to the river, drown
them in the water, munch on their still-warm,
moist flesh and add their teeth to the chain.
Oh wait! You know this story. You have done
this to men and women for two decades—
every time you promise you’ll never do
this again, learned your lesson—you’re sad,
sorry, remorseful, then you meet the next girl
at the Walmart parking lot. The cars lined up
like gravestones. Each license plate lists
an expiration date. Pick me up in your car,
drive me around town. I know we won’t get far.
I hate birds. Their wings flapping, beaks pointy
and their pecking, pecking at the ground
for bugs, worms, gold—-God knows what.
Once, a little bird flew in my face.
To swat the thing away with my arm
was out of the question—it was a friend’s pet.
So, I hit the deck. Flattened body, arms
covering my head, tears soaking her welcome mat,
I laid in her foyer until she assured me
the beast was locked up in its cage. I rose,
trembling. Her eyes, her kids’ eyes large.
It was like a bullet ricocheted off the walls
and I dodged it. I survived. Now,
I imagine how to murder that bird.
Poison? Too easy. Bird-nap? Too
hard. I purchased a snake for my son,
under the guise that he needed a pet.
Allergic to cats and dogs, possibly
all fur, we ended up with the corn snake.
There is a snake in the Mexican flag
on the verge of ingesting an eagle.
Birds. Left over dinosaurs, right?
Whatever happened to the extinct
monsters should have happened to
these flying atrocities. The solar flare
missed. The asteroid wasn’t big enough.
Noah, that workman of God, could have
at the very least, left the birds off the ark.
Look how they break up a lovely sunrise;
listen as they pollute the air with song;
look at how they leave excrement on
our sidewalks, cars, roofs. Look!
With my gun, I saunter off to the field.
Watch how they flee. Watch how I aim,
watch how my hunting dog chases
down their fallen bodies. Cut open
their breast, tear off their feathers,
fry them up in skillets and listen
to the crack and pop of the grease.
I exclaimed and drank it for her. Any other night
The Truth Will Set You Free
The wires laced upwards like a tent, a giant shoe,
tying together me and you.
You are gum on the bottom of my shoe,
but I scrap you off, and you become you.
Gently, a shoe salesman caresses my sole; the shoe
embraces my foot, my ankles. I trip you
on the way to the buffet. Like every other shoe
in a shoebox in a lost storage room, you
remind me of me when I was young and new.
You smell like a book on a Barnes & Noble shelf, you
taste like a plastic spoon, you are every shoe
I have tried on and every shoe has been size 8 and you