Love Song

by Rosalind Casey

Coyote wears black cowboy boots
A fine leather jacket he got on the cheap
And a voice that smells of aluminum and irony.
It's only when he's drunk
Drunk, and Lord it takes a few
Do the words come dribbling from his mouth
Bourbon burned and silky scratched
Arroyo dry and twisty
Words that melt between my ribs —
Hey, darlin' says Coyote
When he's drunk.

Mom says you can't go saving them
She's got her bad news boyfriends gone
All the ghosts of cheap colognes
In every pancake house along I-10.
She tells me boys don’t change.

But Coyote sticks inside my head
His scent caught in my clothes.
Sharptoothed, sleek-backed, scavenger
He's got a nose for fear
Says he's got no feel for beat
But goddamn can he dance
Coyote slinks along, seduction song
A cheap tease made of poetry
Coyote's on the prowl
His nose'll twitch and sometimes he asks
He asks why I'm afraid
And I'll spit out some tall tale yarn
A new one every time
And once he kissed it better.

Coyote, foolish boy he is
Head stuck in a buffalo skull
Tail caught in a bramblebush
Coyote plays his games teeth bared
Live bullets in the chamber
Then looks around with limestone eyes
Sun-warmed, hard and old.
He kissed me in a dim-lit dorm
Dirty socks and paper mesas
Kissed me like a swampland breeze
Kissed me like he meant it.
Coyote, boy, I seen you there
Gone off to lick your wounds —
You who boil yourself to life
What do you know of hurt?

Coyote and his trickster ways
He's been around since the world was made
Since Grandma Spider stole the fire
Playing all the same old tricks
Falling for the same old traps
Coyote, he don't change.

Rosalind Casey lives in Texas. She studies, and sells things, and writes, mostly because she becomes terribly ornery when she doesn't. Her poetry has appeared in The San Antonio Express-News, Mirror Dance, Mythic Delirium, MindFlights, and previously in Goblin Fruit. She never reads just one book at a time, probably because of an irrational, lifelong phobia of finishing one book and not already being well into another, but current highlights include The Sixth Surrender, by Hana Samek Norton, and The Native Star, by M.K. Hobson.

Back to Table of Contents