In which the monster emerged sludgehearted and fond of hares.
And triplets were born of a wish that blew itself apart.
Candleflame ignored the wind.
Her face, thirty years on ice,
the one my waking mind can’t find in the crowd.
Water in the streets so high you could swim.
I was a woman.
I was a wolf. I could hear hunger as a longing for death,
blood as one continuous song. My toes wriggled
as scrollwork along dark’s
What comes now, in the quietest
hour, under the skin, the senses so flammable they ignite
at the slightest …
a house loses its dreamers, an owl dives,
blood forgets the curses it casts like crows over the moors.
Ricky Ray is a disabled poet, critic, essayist, and the founding editor of Rascal: A Journal of Ecology, Literature and Art. He is the author of Fealty (Diode Editions, 2019); Quiet, Grit, Glory (Broken Sleep Books, 2020); and The Sound of the Earth Singing to Herself (Fly on the Wall Press, 2020). His awards include the Cormac McCarthy Prize, the Ron McFarland Poetry Prize, and a Liam Rector fellowship. His work appears widely in periodicals and anthologies, including The American Scholar, Verse Daily, Diode Poetry Journal, and The Moth. He was educated at Columbia University and the Bennington Writing Seminars, and lives on the outskirts of the Hudson Valley, where he can be found hobbling in the old green hills with his old brown dog, Addie.