Hang out with me awhile,
because it's cold this evening
and the sunset's promise of alpenglow
might remind us both
I'll sit on the stoop,
keeping my distance
while you pretend to be a giant piece of yard art,
and we'll watch the clouds
scudding over Teton Pass.
Swaybacked mangy madame,
twig eater, willow bark grinder,
how many seasons have those long greyfurred gams walked you
through lily ponds and over forest snowdrifts
to my driveway tonight?
Big deer, may I call you
Dendi, Dinjik, Æîts’é, or simply...Cow?
I want to make a confession to you while you glance
over your humped shoulder, those cavelike nostrils flaring
at the unforgiven scent of me.
I'll tell you how a friend once informed me
with cheerful, innocent candor
that I'm bound for hell because I don't believe
a god exists who would cleave this world into
the saved and the damned.
And here you are, proof descended from the Pliocene
against any god-concept, yet still partly mystery.
Bearded lady, let's have a chinwag about your throaty fur pouch
and you can explain to me its unknown purpose.
Or not. Some secrets are yours alone.
But I beseech you
to be damned alongside me
and you can ring that bell, your hoarfrosted dewlap moose bell,
because hell's bells, the shape of you
defies all Truth, and I rejoice at that.
About the Author: Carrie Naughton is a freelance bookkeeper who writes speculative fiction, environmental essays, and poetry. Her work can be read at Strange Horizons, Zoomorphic, Star*Line, and The Tishman Review. Find out more about her here - where she blogs about whatever captures her interest.