That death I remember
as I remember the brush wolf
at dusk along the woods road. It loped,
a line no longer than a hyphen,
and skimmed the scrub a half mile off,
then sat, to make a silhouette
of dog (but not quite dog). I sensed
what it was, but did not want to come
to the fact (to touch the rib, to rub
the raked fur at the crown). It stood, all legs,
low tail trailing after, then thralled off
into the laurel. I remember how the gum trees
looked that day, blushing
in unison. It was August. The air
was not yet cold. There was, and is,
a privacy about the thing
that suspends one until it trots off.
To the mind. Or wherever the dead go.
From Dear Apocalypse by K. A. Hays. Used by permission of the poet and Carnegie Mellon University Press. Copyright ©2009 by K. A. Hays.