Little Gals

They come at night

skittering their pink

claws across my

soul-slab. I’m a soft deer

browsing the woods with

strands of willow

in my pelt. They lean in

to call me out

of my name; I shiver

& shine in my thicket

of one. Do they know

about the botch

in my belly? I think

it’s a gel

where the white light

rots. One says

It’s past time

you quickened & I want

to hoof along

the dark. You must have

some kind of hatch says

another or hole says a third

in her kit fox voice.

That one hangs

her face like a slip

on the nearest branch

the better to scoop me

with her humming

snake-throat, to snap

my ribs like nail rod

bite from bite, but

I rear back from her

slow egg tooth bent

like a steel–open up—

comma. Then all three

slide down & click their

surgical jaws, tongues

burning identical red

straps of steak. I gallop

til I’m fetlock-deep in shade

of grease-marked trees

March mud dashing its black

rankness up my legs

then I feel algae fruiting

into stoneflies, nymphal

bodies sweet with flab

in my undercoat I know

inside me is no good

in the good

lake.