By Mikko Harvey

Featured Art: Forest by Werner Drewes

Walking through the woods / at midnight / we were on our way / to the pond / where we
would skinny dip / when two yellow eyes / appeared on the path / we froze / they didn’t
blink or move / the body was / hidden by the dark / there was something / sinister in its
stillness / we turned back / you said it was probably / a bobcat / but better not / to take
that chance / we shared a bed / untouching as usual / you fell / asleep first and I wondered
what kept us / apart really / that night / and the others / the distance between us / maybe six
inches / felt like a shadow / I couldn’t step out of / my two open eyes / the only light
in the room / I thought of the animal / blocking our path / and it occurred to me / she was
only a hostess / welcoming us / to the world of risk / smooth and lovely / water hugging
your naked body / the animal said / are you ready / but we walked away / I had an urge
to shake your body / awake and take you back / to the animal and say / confidently yes
table for two / but instead I just lay there / in the perfect / quiet / country / darkness / and
imagined the outline / of your chest rising / and falling / rising / and falling as you slept.

Mikko Harvey is the author of Unstable Neighbourhood Rabbit (House of Anansi Press, 2018). He currently lives in Ithaca, New York.

Originally published in NOR 15

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