Dressing a Wound Over

I’m starved and snockered and so whittled from the porch door

that I dream I’m back in the house I was born in, and back with

some beagles that trail their own bodies across a frozen pond

with slush to drown in so middling I have this first half a glimpse

at forever. It’s the fever. It’s the infected wound in his right thigh.

It’s the battle for Mosul tattooed around his throat. And somebody

is talking about me saying he’s got this mean face right to my face.

He’s got this fight he won’t fight. So the fever’s like a wolf pup

chewing on a rotten jack-jay at the den hole. So the fever’s all

a bootleg rush, as pretty as a bullet hole in a car with no doors.

It’s a car his uncle remade for that ridge running thing before prison.

I hear it sputter and I’m hospitalized like a mule at the vet school clinic.

I hear the nurse looking through gramma’s screen door, as if I’m a pet

that she advances for her latest certification, or for some experiment

distracting the air I breathe from the lungs I still have. I know where

they’ll drop me. I know where I’ll set the table for them. Spices.

I think they are slopping spices and honey on the wound, last resort.

I lean into the orbit of Mars and grab sunlight. It’s that abrupt. How

I go under is like how the first wolf-dogs rounded a dark canyon

into a yelping that says sisters and brothers we are almost all people.

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