She came while I was sleeping. She held
her paw over my mouth until I woke up
with a talon up my nose. “What the fuck” I yelled
“you could have killed me” but she laughed
like seven jackals. Her antlers were sharp
and huge as trees. They scraped the ceiling
with a metal sound that made my arm-fur
stand on end. She mouthed a word
that looked like either “feuilleton” or “futon”
in the dark. Big with milk, her udder
shook its nipples at the ground.
She came to me at work. I asked
“how would you like your fish”
before I saw her scaly palm. “Boned
or deboned, ladies’ choice” she said,
flicking a tongue not so much forked
as tridentate. I wished she wouldn’t flash
those spalted teeth every time I dropped a knife
or spun the pepper mill over another steak.
Her plumage dress made me feel sissy
in my apron. Is it winking if she has
a single eye? Is it mooning if her milky
ass is actually the moon?
She came in me like deer come
to a salt lick. Came among me,
or between. Afterward, her dog-whistle
made hairline cracks in all the lamps.
Her skin, ready to molt, began unpinning
from her flesh. “Photon” she said,
sucking her cattail like a smoke.
I wrapped her batwing round my arms
and fell into a canine sleep. When I awoke,
I was alone—except for one red word
stuffed like a tongue between my fangs.