Coyote Sees Himself in Water

Averts his gaze: nare & lore, a body;
of water braided into itself: bone
of herring, its blackness among the bone
white rush plumage against his bare body,

wind (upstroke) cascades a woman’s body.
Coyote grows feathers over keel bone,
thrusting, as if to buoy gently—        blown
over himself, prone to leave the body

he embraced. No, there is no beauty here!
Estuary of thick mutter and honk,
up close: water, herring, & wind howl bare,
gnat embedded in matted feathers. Here—

Copyright © 2022 by Tacey M. Atsitty. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on November 9, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.