Little Red Riding Hood/Companion

And those other females who managed to slip the collar
for a moment or two of life were branded “bad.”
            –Clarrisa Pinkola Estés, from Women Who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype

The secret nests in my marrow.

At the striptease I appear pirouette
and prey.


I might show you
what it means to be consumed.

The pashadom and papacy come
to gush and forever satellite spatter,

no matter,

in the end you will find them
covered in a fine mist,

tasting of me.

What they do not know— beyond the veil

I lay with the wolf
& the wolf
is me.

Find me in a forest of tupelo,
cypress & black gum,
at midrib,
lobe, and blade.

Even a leaf can have teeth.

Human acts can be cannibalistic.

I am here
picking all of the wildflowers.

Related Poems


working with willow rods that’s the method,
bring great bundles of them,
put on the ground scatter them
pronounce them, saying:

“here’s one”
“here’s another one”
“here’s one, there…over there…”

willow rods, very consoling          we’ll clear the ground
you don’t have to be a Scythian…

and then the ones behaving more like women use a different method

they take a piece of the inner bark of a lime tree
cut it into many pieces
which they keep twisting and untwisting around their fingers as they
make effigies of themselves, willow rods of women saying:

“there’s a turn”
“there’s a turning”
“there’s a rowdy one”
“there’s a moist one”

“there’s one we lost to negligent wind”
“another one burned up”
“one folded down a sparrow’s cheek”
“how many turnings in a twisty one?”

a million, more than you can ever hold
makes the pronouncers happy
surveyors of tractor and sage
and when all goes out

remember eclipse telling you this could all go out
women too?

but for love & mystery
willows rods, willows rods
you know this
to fool the hearts of men

staying up all night, notice the moon and its macabre signal

and hemp vapor tents on the horizon

walk upside down in the footprints of the living