Wolf by Aluna Brogdon




Her skin yields to muscle

Pried over bones, lazuli and stone

the charred ribs ebbing at each breath

splintered claws, acute and keen

She moves with a fleet of darkness, and her life eclipses

in the angle of time

between hunger and the hunt


See the bank of her lips, twisted back

the veil of her teeth


burnished against the dark

set in uneven rows

--some are missing

And the whole of her mouth is tidy as a secret

She appears taut with quick revelations and promise of motion

Her mind quivers, catches on a precipice


lone wolf

Her hide is molten, thick

attune to the wind, to chant of blue flame

Her pelt is a rind, coarse with the sheen of winter

the ridges of her shoulderblades rise tawny, dark

rimmed with umber and clay

And the veracity of her movement gathers in this valley between bone

where the hair is wet and strength pools


A current hastens


Her body seems to vanish

this beast travels the length of the night

Her legs arc and knot like roots

Her neck lifts and bows, like sun

the earliest memory of light catches

the animal is smoke

A heartbeat between the flanks of trees

monstrous and beautiful



Her irises as dark as pupils

Her pupils abysmal as an afterlife

There is nothing here but the throne of the predator

Her eyes fast, black, they boil with Earth

A glint of ancient speed

The reckless refuge of a wilderness beneath skin


And the lone wolf is running

there is

Old wisdom, frothing in her blood

darkness in her wake

A coiled dawn waits to bite the night, above her

Stars settle along her course, before and behind

She passes beneath the mouth of the moon--

A forest suckles only the most

Ancient and austere bodies of light.