The Wolf

Only the wolf is smiling. I tell you
this without pretense, without figure.
It is like this: only the wolf is smiling,
mouth all red, above a girl. He might
be remembering his body as a man.
He might be saying, I can't wait forever.
The candle won't unlast. Wick emerges
from wax, the lover, caught burning
a girl's face in the alley, unforgiving.
The flat gloss of the photograph
recoiled, became a hand, blackened
as he waved, feed the match, wondering:
how can it be? how can it represent
anything? He was startled, stomping
out my hair. I tell you, it is like this
in the painting in which I live: if there
are locks, they are locked. If there is
help, it is not coming. And because you
might, of all the ways, enter: door made
helpless and wide by winter, bolt rusted,
shifting to shards—by the unbarred
window in bed my body may best
be reached, smiling, as I left it.

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