I let our daughter read a news story about one who walked months
on a broken pelvis before she noticed it
crunching inside her like dry leaves.
And I can hear L. now
practicing in the kitchen, holding her hands under water hot
as she can stand it, singing softly: I don’t care I don’t care I don’t care.
When asked to define happiness half the room will
describe a quality of light, the sky required to feel right.
For a while we shot the wolves from above, the removal of
every possible cause of pain,
but soon enough deer forgot what they were, grew fearless and gnawed
all the aspen sprouts sweet to the ground.
The bald mountain looks in the mirror and sighs.
Last night you paused on the ridge of my hip
and stayed there, breathing, making me ask for your mouth.
The other half of the room recalls learning something
about where to build the fire
so it doesn’t fill the cave with smoke.
Down in the city park someone has already tagged which trees get to stay,
and some night our daughter will want nothing more
than another’s teeth in her back.
In the far city, in a torn booth, long after last call she is saying I really like your politics
but she means I want to lick your face.
Little girl, little wolf.
The blade of the earthmover, how it
scrapes and shudders, shudders and scrapes.