Katharine Salzmann

To call a fox out
the poet does the opposite
of what you might suppose:
snaps the pot lid off last night's broccoli
& whacks it to a fury
with a scum-stained spoon.
No sweet-talk here: She
knows he can feel it coming,
her carbonous poem, her bell,
her demon tattoo as it
peals down just under that
new slip of moon,
just under the shadow
the grass casts over itself,
between each blade
her stainless steel howl
shinks exactly toward
the thigh-wide hole
he's holed up in,
past eyes half-hung
from dope & do-gooding it
all day, right,
like a neutron caterwaul, a dead-on
stridulation, true to the track
that beelines into his suddenly
upturned ear, the fury
meant to rattle his dark envelope
and the perfect music she knows
is there.


Spring's wistful clench,
its torque around the green knob
the underrustle fills our hearts with,
and salt through secret pennules
twist back to the twin arrows of ingenuity
where it all so sportingly began.
Wayward and then cruel or
hungry first and hiding,
what exoteric creativities
we bring to our demise
till Sound in this moment
is a moment of paradise
or the falling that comes later.
But here, inside song
unsprung like the swordfern's spring pod
still curled, real time and tone
make hay from lumpen narrative,
its evil undersong