Winter Animal

G.C. Waldrep
Moon Cold or Moon Hot by Mary McCleary,

A: blood-bartered giftling
or womb-harrier      the river
extols winter’s      one black suit
above its tabernacle current 

—single-wide bitewing
of the edge of town, are we
coming through clearly? are we
this world’s saline stubble 

listen(s) for the flying tones
sketched           brainchantingly
moving through the forest
on fire, bluff-fire, egg-      fire

in the tooth’s tactile residue
my heart is a bone-
black wire    music’s bloody bell
remembers       coagulant

in this third secrecy, the large
blue wheel of the thigh
warming     the irradiant asphalt
this glass-nubbed thicketing 

(in another dream you told me
the memories of swans are very
brief—you must try some other way

G.C. Waldrep’s most recent books are The Arcadia Project: North American Postmodern Pastoral, coedited with Joshua Corey, and a chapbook,Susquehanna. Waldrep lives in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, where he teaches at Bucknell University; edits the journal West Branch; and serves as editor-at-large for the Kenyon Review.