Night’s Warp and Woof

A coyote surveys the scene from a hillside at Big Creek cattle ranch on the Colorado border, near the towns of Riverside and Encampment, in Carbon County, Wyoming. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith/Courtesy of Library of Congress.

In darkness we’ll talk,
until we fade,
about cooking on TV,
or protests at Berkeley.
We sift and settle. We drift
to the coyotes howling
pagan hymns in a choir
that gives them up to each other
in their time of need:
brother, sister, loved one:
here I am, come feed.
They warble, laugh.
When they do we know
they’re only a short walk
from our window, no more
than a quick half-minute’s stroll
(in those flickering,
open moments,
everything is fractional).
And then, again, they go
as we, as ghosts, quietly,
disappearing each time
between their words
and after, into their
inarticulate night,
a world we only dream of

Greg McClure's poetry has appeared in Faultline, Flaunt, and Miracle Monocle. He writes, teaches, and walks his dog, Donut, in Irvine, California.
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