Coyote

 

You feel the grass with your slippers, never with snout or feet.

 

Fetching again the news with your godly paw.

 

Fangless and sleepless, annoyed you can’t order the weather.

 

Snout a cute little morsel that never snaps bait. 

 

Go brew your coffee—I’m ready awake.

 

Knee-high if you care to spot me, a yawn 

 

in your parched hedge. I sniff weeds, smell possum and egg. 

 

Your someday sky will fall. In the meantime

 

we could burrow together, pounce, break a few necks. 

 

Truth strikes from above and in the dark.

 

Why not stomach this fact and join me for a disembowelment?

 

I dare you, sir, dare you. I double-dog dare you.

Coyote

Death is deaf,

but I’m his hearing.

He watches while

I put to rest

 

hearts in the wildest

mice. I can also

clean a possum’s

clock, though

 

Death likes it best

when I listen

for a litter’s heat.

Without fur,

 

pink, in ticking,

their bones are

their tastiest part—

we heart them so.

Coyote

Yo! What’s with your creep 

need to get us all killed?

Even half-asleep I’m kind of thrilled

your so-called soul is a troll,

a whole lot of crock,

and every night I can hear 

that Doomsday clock.

Listen to it, clickety tickety

tock. Dumbass Jack, 

if you can’t hear that 

you’ll only know me 

in the abstract, so I rip another 

track, your trick, no pet.

I’m a bad motherfucker

with a rabid alphabet.

I’m your alpha, son, you can bet. 

I crouch real close 

and wait for the worst 

since you’ll never quench

your drop-dead gorgeous thirst. 

When the rockets launch,

I’ll burn to my den.
Hey, it’s hella cool if I’m a bit 

too thin. I’ll lurk all winter. 

I’ll juke, I’ll win. And it ain’t no joke

you’ll grease my chinny chin.

David Roderick is the author of two books of poems, Blue Colonial and The Americans. From 2017 to 2019 he wrote a weekly poetry column for The San Francisco Chronicle. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow and Amy Lowell Scholar, Roderick lives in Berkeley, California and co-directs Left Margin LIT, a creative writing center and work space serving writers in the Bay Area.

Photo by Rachel Richardson

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