Friday, March 7, 2014


Coyote, with Mange


Oh, Unreadable One, why  
have you done this to your dumb creature?  
Why have you chosen to punish the coyote  

rummaging for chicken bones in the dung heap,  
shucked the fur from his tail  
and fashioned it into a scabby cane?  

Why have you denuded his face,  
tufted it, so that when he turns he looks  
like a slow child unhinging his face in a smile?  

The coyote shambles, crow-hops, keeps his head low,  
and without fur, his now visible pizzle  
is a sad red protuberance,  

his hind legs the backward image  
of a bandy-legged grandfather, stripped.  
Why have you unhoused this wretch  

from his one aesthetic virtue,  
taken from him that which kept him  
from burning in the sun like a man?  

Why have you pushed him from his world into mine,  
stopped him there and turned his ear  
toward my warning shout?



    author of ~
    The Earth Avails,  Graywolf Press
    Voluntary Servitude, Graywolf Press, 2004
    The Anchorage, University of Massachusetts Press, 1999