Disguises for the Waxing Moon
I cried the first time
I saw a woman skin a rabbit,
her efficient hands
oiled by death.
But I’ve done it too: dissolved
into the trees, become unlikely predator.
Once you call
yourself a hunter, you will never stop
shooting your own shadow, scattering like birdshot,
like shattered clay, like the sudden glut of feathers
clogging my mouth when I wake pressed into the pillow.
His eyes flutter & his mouth hangs
slack as a clapper in a bell. Love song
for rock salt in the doorway
& a shotgun.
I see him, fallen
open. The way sleep unlocks a man.
If there is a Clyde in him—rounded
shoulders, cocked hip,
a hesitator—I will take him to the vault,
turn out my pockets, key open each secret
as if there is no approaching danger.
Emily O'Neill is a writer, artist, and proud Jersey girl. Her recent poems and stories can be found in Gigantic Sequins, Muzzle Magazine, and Vector, among others. Her debut collection, Pelican, is the inaugural winner of Yes Yes Books' Pamet River Prize (forthcoming 2014).