The Fur Trade

I prodded your pelt,

shared the soft pain

of an electric shock –

the buzz of currents passing.

I saw

(I saw, I think, I saw)

you once in the forest

with your back

arched against

the rough grain of bark.

Your milk fur was sweet

so I twirled you

in my palms and hummed.

Fur bristle; fang drip.

I tore the raw jag of a fresh scrape,

dripped your honey mane

into the open pulp of skin.

I burrowed in sting, searching

for the bursts of bees.

(The forest was always lapping

at the shores of our not-forest.)

Catching cuts, throat-awed,

I was lost in the green–

ever, ever awed–

until I saw you curled

around the throat

of a woman with her hair white.

(But I was once the teeth nipping

at the nectar of your neck.)


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