How-to 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. Post 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, impenetrable—yet 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.