Nocturne

At night he would open
the bedroom window,
let the warm air,
redolent of mimosa and juniper,
caress him to sleep.

Returning to the animal body,
he would sniff along the bank,
wind ruffling his fur,
sinews stretching toward
an urgent meeting
with hidden things.

He was a feeling
moving through the body of earth
toward an opening onto
infinite traceries of scent,
olfactory landscapes as vast
as the austral plains.
He was a scarlet unseen joy
running to meet all things
with a ravenous welcome.

He ran silently then, visiting
smooth old places that had always
been the same, new places
that came forward only to him.

Sometimes she would come to him –
the Wolf Mother with shining teeth
and bottomless eyes.  Together
they would hunt for what had life
down deep in meat and bone.

In the morning he would remember
only that there had been a place once
where he belonged, a place
too vast, too near
even to have a name.

When he spoke of it at all,
he would call it “a place
where I once lived.”