by Brett Haymaker
two wolves salivate sky from Jacob’s
ladder blue bonk bunk bot to black
as thawed dew clings to a hair shaft they snip and spool
at Kenton Carnegie’s calves, pulls of flesh give
way to a trail of moon-drift snow packs, paw prints,
drool reliefs reveal when read out loud a struggle here, jaw-pop
and chew can set your clocks by it, you
can’t dodge a hunt-rattle once
rattled in denim jeans, exposed pockets
of bone up shit creek with a death paddle.
evergreens bear up water
boulders of night branch off like cattle
the boy stumbles over a mammal
dwelling or pine root, lands as heavy
metals found in teeth
they have him caught up
matter a red Book of aluminum powder,
two minutes shaking
an Etch A Sketch
images of catch
images of throw
all erased like graves by the snow
Dogwoods dance to resurrect still life
Carnegie rises a bipedal purged of prayer,
wrestles silver from fur coats with his father’s
over-bite, lunges blind at eyes with nickel
coins cast from his jacket, the sounds of currency
having slunk instinct forth from stalactite-
scented burrows where the kill might be
dragged sometimes for seconds.
a sip of coffee a cop slurps
finally, red-hound snort out
a blood Pollock framed by trees, a history
of body parts, a toe, a tendon, a grip
of stone, a knot of wolves, all
ka-banged all gutted and hanged.
photographers retire that night to the sportsman’s hall,
they admire shoes, lick their fangs, open
apertures of whiskey. One makes a phone call,
hung on the end of the bar by his shoulder pads
like stag antlers mounted on the wall.
He says animals are re-inhabiting the wild,
why, with hunting down thirty-four percent and sons moving into the city
not knowing how to dress an elk, or stir chocolate into their milk,
raw and nude like summer swans panting in a parked car,
forced to act but act or act upon?
That is Saskatchewan.