that Wolf will come as memory pressed in a nest of dark feathers,
lifting eyes of soot.
Wolf will be ghosts of the body, ghosts
of a body’s hurt.
Wolf will not know the language of hurt the weave
of a girl’s of a girl’s of my breath on stone
Wolf will speak only in snow and teeth
Will only tell
me a story rounding to curl
in sleep or lapping dreams at sleep’s wet flames—
not a girl’s first house empty her mother’s blue-rose body empty
on the red rug brown bottles empty and a girl’s my trembling skin
(my hands and my hands on her blue-rose sleeves
even after years shaking like stones)
Wolf will not know the mouth of my mother’s door
the lace of the path outside the hard
ripple of starlings in the air over the roof
will not know me know my body’s swerve in fear Wolf will not
O my body how
you ruin me O Wolf
how you come to take its place
that you come again into my skin
find me here blue-rose snarl and fur is mercy and a fierce soft beating
Sally Rosen Kindred is the author of two poetry collections from Mayapple Press, No Eden (2011) and Book of Asters (2014), and her most recent chapbook is Darling Hands, Darling Tongue (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2013). She has received poetry fellowships from the Maryland State Arts Council and the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. Her poems have appeared in Quarterly West, Linebreak, The Journal, and on Verse Daily.