Coyote slinks out of the road & into my hands. Out of my hands & into my mouth. With my teeth she bites the bark in two that binds her. With my tongue she licks the placenta off the words. Coyote steals out of my mouth & into my hair. Out of my hair & into my skin.  In my skin she drags the forest floor, looking for the bodies. In my skin she hacks back the dark. (& who are those masked that ring round the wood?—) Coyote sneaks out of my skin & into my lungs. Into my nose. With my nose the earth is clean as paper.  Coyote scrawls herself across it, crawls into my hands. With my hands she rends the voles in two. With my hands she opens a door. Inside I am waiting. Inside I offer her a kind of apple, some Indian cake, a bed of hides, & didn’t we bed down, Coyote & I, in this shabby cave while the hunters searched for us in the vast boscage of the body? Didn’t we couple in our fear? Coyote runs over my snowy terrain, marking my skin with her claws. How do I tell you that my body is the road upon which Coyote dies? How do I rear what births from my mouth?


Photo By: Jacob Kirkland