Wolf Cento

Very quick. Very intense, like a wolf
at a live heart, the sun breaks down.
What is important is to avoid
the time allotted for disavowels
as the livid wound
leaves a trace      leaves an abscess
takes its contraction for those clouds
that dip thunder & vanish
like rose leaves in closed jars.
Age approaches, slowly. But it cannot
crystal bone into thin air.
The small hours open their wounds for me.
This is a woman's confession:
I keep this wolf because the wilderness gave it to me.



Sources: [Anne Sexton, Dylan Thomas, Larry Levis, Ingeborg Bachmann, Octavio Paz, Henri Michaux, Agnes Nemes Nagy, Joyce Mansour, William Burroughs, Meret Oppenheim, Mary Low, Adrienne Rich, Carl Sandburg]

More by Simone Muench

Orange Girl Suite [excerpt]

1:
Young women carrying baskets of oranges used to stand near the stage in London theatres and sell oranges at sixpence apiece and themselves for little more

between dresses we came.
between naked and nothing
we slipped into the delirious
coils of perfected ears, 

       pear dust on our skin
              sarsparilla sounding our 
                     fizzied song in sailor mouths.  

we were translated by churchwomen
who placed umlauts over our words.

when we recovered, we were sold 
in beautiful clothes, sent sailing into the gulf
where the moon pitched
its lemon-lateness over the celluloid

       slickness of sea.  we were movie stars
              who never entered the frame.
                     we were green and gone

lisping "o" words in the air:
ode, odalisque, obituary.


2: 
The rynde of the orrendge is hot, and the meate within it is cold

there are only two ways 
       to peel an orange
              in fragments or in one
       coiling brightness.
let us rewind and revel 
       in the orangeade of sun-
              decked eyes. turn me spinning 
       in a carousel-sweet dress
ear marked by radio teeth
       red leaf breath.
              your arm is on fire
       as we ride in a dark
car to the carnival.
       the constant clink 
              of seatbelt to belt buckle.
       the sky’s cotton candy
melting in a girl's cold mouth.

Related Poems

The Good Gray Wolf

Wanted that red, wanted everything tucked inside
that red, that body, it seemed, turned inside out,
that walking flower, petals furled, leaved
by the trees by the forest path, the yellow basket
marking the center--

			wanted to raise that rose
petal skin to my gray face, barely to brush
that warmth with my cold nose, but I knew she'd cry
for mercy, help, the mother who'd filled the basket
that morning, Wolf, she'd cry, Wolf, and she'd
be right, why should she try to see beyond
the fur, the teeth, the cartoon tongue wet
with anticipation?

			And so I hid behind
a tree as she passed on the path, then ran, as you know,
to her grandmother's house, but not as they say, I knocked
and when she answered I asked politely for her
advice. And then, I swear, she offered me tea,
her bonnet, an extra gown, she gave me more
than advice, she tucked me into a readied bed,
she smoothed my rough fur, I felt light
as a flower, myself, stamened and stemmed in her
sweet sheets.

			Not ate her, you see, but rather became
her, flannel chest for the red head, hood
that hid the pearl that when I touched it flushed
and shone. What big eyes! and she opened the cape,
tongue, mouth to her mouth, and opened everything,
I crooned, crawling inside, wolf to flower,
gray to rose, grandmother into child
again, howl to whisper, dagger to cloak,
my mother father animal arms, disarmed
by love, were all she ever dreamed of.