The Whowolf

Catherine Pierce

Some nights I wish my rage could lupinize me,

my jaw stretched and menacing,

my teeth so fierce I’d no longer care

about the small and tedious details of how

humans try or don’t to keep one another

alive. My new self could run on wrath,

eyes incandescent and unignorable.

My new self could rip apart any soft, thoughtless thing.

I am so tired of manners. I’ve been

manacled too long to caution. This country

is a terrible animal, snuffling foolishly

through gardens, uprooting anything

the farmers have carefully sown. Soon

we’ll have no crops to make it through winter.

Watch me changing. It hurts,

but now there is no way back—

I am elongating, I am sprouting hackles

and claws. I see this wolf stand upright,

taller than the horses. I see this wolf

throw back its head. We howl and howl.

The animal of this country watches,

then turns back to the sweet, tender roots.

about the author