Rabbit Fever

Since I’ve been gone, you’ve kept a rabbit report:
hare ears in the cherry tomatoes,
a bandit in the beans.

Have you found a pair of trousers snagged along the fence?
Will our dogs not scare them of ?
Too old. Too slow. Too dozing in the sun.

Should you set a trap?
This one will catch a rabbit alive.
Place him on my shoulder,

name him Coriander, feed
him all the garden we cannot eat.
Coriander, house rabbit. Unveil

your litter of rabbit kits, ears pale
like tiny shells.
What will you do with the rabbit?

Lapin au pistou. I can hear your smile.
I know where you keep your skinning knife –
top-drawer – socks and underwear.

Today on a walk, my friend points out a stellar jay –
I see a buff twitch in the manzanita.
My heart in hiding for his hide – we freeze together, the rabbit

and I. A bit of burrow nest in his cheeky maw,
he will not stir before me. His bead eyes cut, haunches tense.
I wish I could promise we would not skin his kind,

his wild unpocketable call.

Ashley Roach-Freiman is a second year MFA student at the University of Memphis where she is the Senior Poetry Editor for the Pinch Journal. She has poems appearing or forthcoming in Dunes Review, THRUSH Poetry Journal, District, Midway Journal, and Rock & Sling.She spent a week over the summer at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers and now fantasizes about living in a California poetry commune. She coordinates the Impossible Language reading series in Memphis, TN.