It isn't how we look up close so much as in dreams. Our giant is not so tall, our lizard boy merely flaunts crusty skin- not his fault they keep him in a crate and bathe him maybe once a week. When folks scream or clutch their hair and poke at us and glare and speak of how we slithered up from Hell, it is themselves they see: the preacher with the farmer's girls (his bulging eyes, their chicken legs) or the mother lurching towards the sink, a baby quivering in her gnarled hands. Horror is the company you keep when shades are drawn. Evil does not reside in cages.
[Locked away we’re like a Russian novel:]
Locked away we’re like a Russian novel:
the hermit and the cowboy,
me stepping from the train.
A world of snow. Whose Great Coat a den
of baby foxes skinned and sewn together.
We’re a field of stars,
all the peasants’ sheep shorn in haste
made into a carpet placed beneath my feet,
the stationmaster’s son sent through the night to find us
this small room.
’s the foxes and the wolves.
’s the doves with their curved necks
waiting out the rain. ’s the grass
starting to shake. ’s the medals
on whose own bureau, the silver
glinting on whose horse’s bridle.
I said, Samovar sounds like a knight.
It’s just a fancy tea pot. ’s my samovar,
the steam that makes my cheeks glow
so all the women talk. ’s the snow
covering the wolf’s tracks,
the party of sleds sent out and not returning
gives me whose alphabet of notes
One by one each day. ’s a thousand pages
read across the endless plains til rides hard
beneath my window and helps me down
as the first flakes fall and I say,
You brought the first snow for me.