Wild Dogs
Andrew Grace

I used to wake early and watch the sheep lift their heads in fear.

Once, a wild dog took shape out of the wood-frost,

slicking its blue tongue, its coat itself a polluted ice,

then hard lunge, gloss of rent muscle, red rash inwound


on the boneyard, no sound, everything disfigured

in mist, everything with its skeleton mask on.

I thought the sheep were meant for hunger, the way

our hunger is meant to become its own guide to call to.


This mist, here, years after, devolves into a mouthful of wool.

I used to want to witness loss, to have my shoeprint in the sheep’s

blood be a seal to mark the act as closed. But it is not necessary.

The proof is obliterated by darkening shifts of grass.


I used to wake early and watch a blurred face that came

to be mine flare up in the mirror. Now, in the fallen night,

I can see what is not meant for hunger—throb of stars,

your cool, unwashed skin: trademarks of what rises.