OUTSIDE YOUR HOUSE AT MIDNIGHT, COYOTE
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)