Wolf Eye

Michelle Askin

A Memory of Everything Begins

Before raping her, he drew them a bath
where he let in roosters and a story
of him and his wife losing the baby back
to her birth mother on the reservation —
Six months clean and you would not think
this woman was a user. Her jeans,
her rock n roll t-shirt were ripped, yes,
but she was soft … hands on the child
as the elder sang a blessing.
And throughout
the fucking to lumber trucks, welfare bank casino
crowds, and remembering how he said
the tribal band had no rights to decide at first,
just the state, that he felt like a kidnapper —
she asked again and again, how soft? Until
she knew the mother’s mouth: that heroin, meth,
crack cocaine — she thought would be gross, tart
powder. Not sweet, not the compost’s oranges stuck
to rotted fish, all night new birds were finding.

Michelle Askin holds an MFA in Creative Writing from West Virginia University. Her work has appeared in Obsessed with Pipework, The Oyez Review, The Sierra Nevada College Review, Sub-Lit, and elsewhere. She lives and works in an intentional community in British Columbia, supporting adults with disabilities. contact


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