CURRENT ISSUE (#50)
"Asena, the Gray Wolf, to Tu Kueh after Many Years"
by Natalie Giarratano
I’ve dented the side of an iron
mountain with my head. What can
I say: out of frustration. Tried to
hide it with tree bark but honey
nothing hides itself well enough
once a whole empire has walked
out of a woman, this woman who
doesn’t mind doing all the work
and respects that you are all torso
and pretty face and the father
of legions of limbs, but sometimes
I do wish I’d found you before they
removed your arms and legs,
so I’d have something with which
to pin you down. These lupine muscles.
This longing for reciprocated touch.
I’m sure the flesh of your belly is some
divine window that I have yet to learn
to look into at the people after us—
children with their hearts licked clean.
I sense this is all dissolving. The smell
of your skin on my fur is almost extinct.
Our bodies have stopped communicating.
No guts to spill, not even to spew.
Sometimes I think of the coldness of these
metal Altais. Mine and yours. So cold
with our lack of want for what gravity
owns. In this sedentary life you have no
choice but to claim, even storms that fly
down to us from the mountains
into these valleys of wasting away
are miraculous. The lightening awakens
instincts that have been forgotten
in this dale with no memory that tries to erase
us with its silence, its slow, deep breaths,
its green sighs. But instinct eventually
comes back to me, like misunderstanding.
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