The 2River View 22.2 (Winter 2018)

Wendy Noonan

Our Friendship

I’m walking in the woods alone. Moss pelts giant stalks of trees. Light is sparse here, the
air cool and wet in my lungs. I turn a corner and there, in the path, lies the body of a
rabbit: limp, white and so immaterial I think it is a pile of skin and fun, but when I turn
the thing over with my foot, I see the teeth, long and yellow, the open eye fixed at the
sky. Because I have nowhere special to go, I build a fire by this rabbit. Take off my shoes,
my hat. Soon, the sun will go down soon. The rabbit has crawled into my lap; its death
so fresh the body is not yet filled with carrion beetles. I close the vacant, wild eyes;
stroke fur that feels alive. When I pull its skin from the bone, it comes off clean, like an
unfurling tongue. Its warm guts fill my hand, and I throw them in the bushes. Followed
by the tiny liver. Lungs. I’m careful with the thin blue skinned gall bladder; if it breaks
open, the meat is ruined. I cook its skinny breast on a spit over the fire for my dinner,
and vow tomorrow I will make a pair of gloves from the silky fur in my pocket. Around
me, the darkness is a vein, and I am its blood. I am sick with love.

Wendy Noonan tutors writing and life skills at a small, private art college in Portland, Oregon. Her poetry has been featured most recently in Crazy Horse, Muzzle Magazine, and Painted Bride Quarterly.

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