Isabelle Edgar

Applause Issue 32 Label

And that wolves whisper

You knew few things. That I woke up that morning
in a pool of my own blood and had to clean myself in the woods.

It rained that whole night, you trying to kiss ripples
into the pool in my collarbone. My inner thighs muddied by Cascade leaves
that I, squatting in ferns, tried to clean the blood with.
Cascade leaves stained with me.

You told me you’d lick it clean like the wolves we saw
in Michigan the year I turned twenty and I pushed your head away
into the passenger window, brushing the bridge of your nose.

And that driving to Lookout Mountain through grandfather moss
honeyed with the same mess morning made on me,
I knotted my limbs to each other, clove hitch, bowline,
slip.Termite trails are beautiful, you said, here, an orb spider,
and a lichen mustache and that wolves whisper while coyotes seduce sound.

The days that I don’t feel like leaving silently are extraordinary,
ringing in blush tones. And that day, in Marblemount on the Skagit,
after so many days alone, I cried into your mouth,
a pool beneath your tongue.

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