Love Poem for Lupus
There’s always a house alone in the wood, three oaks to mark the place, a hazel hedge. The roof is a slanted pledge. I’ve worn the pelt of the forest shade. I’ve worn my little hood of red. The path is aching with thaw. When I find the house alone in the wood, I’m always a tender young thing. Grandmother’s dead six years. There is sorrow. Birds in winter plume. Salt for the deer to nose. There are children with voices bright as coins. The tall, bent steps. The wolf raised the latch and the door swung wide open years ago now. There may be a fire with hands for flames. There may be a witch, an oven stoked. Surely a bed turned down for me. A rug at the hearth where the wolf sleeps. The tick-tick-tick of his heart. I know how to dread him— dread like a trip-wire, dread like thirst. I’ve ungloved my hands, eaten the cakes, drunk the wine. The huntsman is otherwise occupied. Here is the only place. I wake every day in this story, call in the children, open wide this breakable body, this hard-won room, this house of luck and bone that made us.