I don’t remember the coyote
or how I woke here
not remembering my body
or the shape that your hand
left inside me. Desire
on the nightstand
like an empty claw
and the candle
reflected in the dark
glass behind the curtain.

And beyond that, the sound
of coyotes in the tree line,
enemies of the empty trees.

A flame always reflects
the edge of leaving–unreason,
an animal. Everything
always leaves.

But nothing ever really.
It’s morning and a coyote
crouches in the meadow
grass, leaping,
hunting mice.

Photo by TunnelBug

Sarah Messer

SARAH MESSER is the author of a hybrid history/memoir, Red House (Viking), and a poetry book, Bandit Letters (New Issues). A 2008-2009 fellow at the Radcliff e Institute for Advanced Study, she teaches at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

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