A Coyote Runs Down Michigan Avenue

By Sara Ryan

Featured Art: “The Bridge: Nocturne (Nocturne: Queensboro Bridge)” by Julien Alden Weir

and she is a phantom. gray blur on
gray pavement. green lights flicker

their rhythmic patterns. in the right building,
at the right angle, she becomes one

thousand coyotes shimmering in glass.
she screams and Chicago screams

back. how’s. scavenges the oily corners
of the train stations. the river gulps

through its channels and feeds the lake.
she is a wild thing. she crosses high bridges.

she becomes the color blue. she becomes
the color blood. the city is haunted

now. by the tress. by women, their mouths 
full–bulging, really–with fur. she is one

of the lucky ones. she runs unjailed without 
worry for traffic, turn signals, speed limits.

ghosts wearing masks yell from 
their windows. they’re warning her.

they’re warning her.


Sara Ryan is the author of I Thought There Would Be More Wolves, which came out in February from University of Alaska Press, as well as the chapbooks Never Leave the Foot of an Animal Unskinned (Porkbelly Press), and Excellent Evidence of Human Activity (The Cupboard Pamphlet). In 2018, she won Grist‘s Pro Forma Contest and Cutbank‘s Big Sky, Small Prose Contest. Her work has been published in Brevity, The Kenyon Review, Pleiades, DIAGRAM, and Prairie Schooner. She is pursuing her Ph.D. at Texas Tech. https://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/distributed/I/bo87615984.html @SaraReneeRyan

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