Mirror Theory

with a wolf head
in it: magic
says rub
tooth to your gum, sleep
with cheek
matted to your
sweat—first you
must kill it.
a letter of carved
wood that sings
like howl.
What happens after
the cast—where
to dispose
of used up
fur coil
and red.
Kept saying
new when I had
looked for nothing.
There’s a whole
word for wind
in France,
northeast and dry;
I have not been
given one
to say how
canvas cuts
a tree’s bottom
and top
with grey poplars.
My stretch of cells
still repeating.
The nuns
made my body
a holy cathedral,
a temple is a widest
entrance; place
of herded into.
Still have
a wolf and it’s still
breathing. From its mouth
crawls another.
Then from that,
it happens again; throat
combed by teeth.
It became
we and I was
a portrait
with many hearts in it.

Copyright © 2018 by Lucia LoTempio. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 12, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.