T. L. Stokes The 2River View, 6.2 (Winter 2002)

Don’t Hide Your Face When the Moon Cries


The fox sings of dying,
and all the ears in the wood become silent,
uneasy. Wild things remembering how frail life is,
how close one step might take them.

If you suspect trauma,
always check the fingernails.
She whittled at her own, chewed away the evidence,
like the fox chews off his own foot in the trap.

She gnawed at the inside of her mouth,
picked at the invisible itch
on her sheer skin,
as if all the scars would be hidden.

And, if you asked her,
is everything alright?
She would always answer,
yes, I’m fine.

As the moon cried, she sat for hours
under the bat song, scraped with the nubs
of her little fingers, trying to bury
the resurfacing heads of secrets,

trying to sew the foot
back onto the fox’s leg.


she pulls up a corner of the curtain
on the windowless night,
where all the expired stars
are stitched into the carpet of her mind;

the fox sleeps with her,
pawless yet alive.

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