emerge through the half-screen
of our fatigue, make their way across the flickering
Eleven O’clock News lighting up
our room like an aquarium. In single file
they advance across a bridge,
slow motion perfect, captured
by a traffic camera pointing
toward a half-lit distance. Slinking
maps of hunger, these frayed dogs trot behind
their stares and sound like knives
stabbing around in the dark, cracking straight
through our latinate bone collection.
Coyotes snatch the end from the beginning,
their songs claw through the rim
of sleep, and their pupils are pools widening
in the calcified light of stars.
Slicing across a jagged screen
of pines our headlights flared upon a coyote.
It seemed screwed into the field, so we turned
around at the next lamplit drive and doubled back
to ease a disbelief in need of its own backlit dial.
When you found the incisor
it looked like a bent shell casing
and ended up in a wrinkled sandwich bag.
Some animal vanished into that curved tooth
stinking of hunger and stained with dirt
like Cadmus sewing a field
with stones and teeth, astonished
by people twisting out of the ground
to split each other open like sacks of feed