you sprawl across the thistle of a weedy slope,
bones splayed over the hill-belly,
friends beyond your fingertips.
fog between your teeth.
you watch a scant coyote
feebling along the flank.
too much rib,
less feral than winter.
pluto yoking at the sun. light out
of reach. this will become another day
you don’t want to remember.
it’s lucky you’re wired
for forgetting. your housekeys,
the trash you didn’t take out,
gas stove still lit.
the way it smelled right before burning.
the people you’ve lost. been.
the ease of loving
more than you fear.
that one night.
that other one.
those blank many years. your friends
capture the coyote in the crosshairs
of their cameras & you pluck dandelion
after dandelion from the dirt.
on the ridge-hip, the coyote stills.
her knees are brittle, giving,
failing. too many hands
have tendered her.
too many humans
have rendered her
she belongs to no one,
belongs to everyone
she looks familiar. she looks like someone
you forgot. she looks your way
& you look around,
eyes dilated, reflecting
dandelion manes. you twist one off at the neck
& raise it to your lips. blow. watch the plume
shatter into fragments of a fortune.
the scatter of a wish. don’t tell anyone,
your friend warns, or it won’t come true.
you know this is a false story
& say nothing. you’ve learned keeping quiet
makes other people’s wishes truer,
that things held below the tongue
are the slowest seething pill.
the coyote opens her mouth,
her throat, perfectly hollow & void
of howl. she has forgotten how to make something
out of breathing. she tries, again. again,
percussing into the wind. toneless,
beautiful as rubble. wretched as dust.
stevie redwood is a sino-jewish neuroemergent introvert genderpervert homotrash littledreamer bigmouth freak living & dying on Yelamu Ohlone land (San Francisco, CA). they like shittalk, porchsitting, leaflitter, & riffraff. find them trolling yimbys on twitter @trash_whisperer