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.
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