Wolf Eye

David Appelbaum


Seventeen crows
they caucused there
like pros
around a possum corpse
& I, the eighteenth
came in fog
that once clung aimlessly
to dry brush
& inkstone
as one of Buddha’s sermons
but that earnest parley
pressed me to give the habit up
for a say
in what mattered,
my heart,
for what sliver
what gasp of air
makes difference enough
between the still-life
& this real death
this morsel before us
if it isn’t who
gets first taste
& who last?


I found a flattened coil
cheap belt metal
from a wasp waist

& that day tried
in an effort
to relate to
the young snake
held the musky head
in my mouth
& tasted

what the oak was
a forked tongue in heaven
where the road
slithered by a black desert
how God gleamed
or the devil
& every face of stone
knew my sleek belly
for what the race

& I ripped
with pure motion
a wrist
beneath the great being
who naming me
watched & prayed
& I marveled
at the fear & loathing of
his warm veins
& his love
for me
those contraries
that sentience
you are

David Appelbaum is a hiker and biker, the past editor of Parabola Magazine, and publisher of Codhill Press. His work has appeared in American Poetry Review, Commonweal, Dogzplot, and Verse Daily. contact


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