Monday, April 25, 2016

National Poetry Month--Outside Your House at Midnight, Coyote

"Outside Your House at Midnight, Coyote" is the 6th in my sequence of Coyote poems for #NationalPoetryMonth. It was the second one written, however. "3 O'Clock in the Morning, Alone" was the first I'd written with the Coyote avatar. Several years later, my youngest son had inveigled me into watching the TV series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and a sizzling scene of a lovesick Spike watching outside Buffy's window at night inspired me to write this poem. And this one then unleashed several others.


stands in shadows, only the red eye
of his cigarette showing his presence.
He watches lights in windows
downstairs and your silhouette
against curtains as you move
from room to room, readying for bed.
He grinds cigarette into the ground
with his boot, to join the others
littering the spot where he lurks,
across the street, vacant lot,
under trees along the fence line.

As you switch off lights,
room by room, and climb stairs
to your bed, Coyote moves out
of the shadows, closer to you
by a few feet more. The outer rays
of the light on the corner
catch his sharp features, golden hair,
the hunger on his face.

He watches your light click on upstairs.
Closing his eyes, Coyote can see within
your walls as you undress and slide under
covers. Tendons in his neck stand out,
rigid with tension, and he swallows his own
wanting with pain. He opens his eyes
to the dark again, watches your last light
wink out, whispers something so soft
even he won’t hear, stays to witness
the vulnerability of your restless body.
Sleep. Coyote’s standing watch.

Published in Heart’s Migration (Tia Chucha Press, 2009)