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Wolf Suite
The Inside of a Wolf

I gut the wolf. All I find is a hole/and I follow/the hole farther in and farther/into earth shaped like a great sigh./The earth, open and airy/as sky. The earth is blue/as thought inside, farther/and further, the wandering/into earth, until a great opening opens/up beneath the hole/and suddenly nothing has a body. Nothing/has a body but me. Into the belly/of the wolf I fall, farther/and forward into emptiness. Inside/the earth is blue. Blue/is the absence of all/earth, all body, and I tumble into blue/so shattering, so empty/all body comes/back, a kind of courage, holding on to one’s body, so/tight, while tumbling/and turning/into a sigh. Holding on/to one’s body so tight/all breath is lost. Falling/into the earth, so careless/with its emptiness, so daring,/hiding inside a wolf, the moon’s mouth.


Wolf Realizes They Are Not a Wolf

Breaking against the windhorn, the rocks piled up
against the beach to keep the ocean from eating, the sun
opens its eye, the wolf, looking back, has just awoke, their veins
flooded with memories whiskey, I shall not do this again, already coming
out of their lips as the sun opens its gaze a bit more, the windhorn sounding
its alarm as mother oceans beats herself against the earth she will take,
which she will take, even if the wolf is still sitting on the stones
looking out at water, their eyes alone, their body shaking
with withdrawal’s long slow language. I am not
a wolf’s wolf, I am one thing, not another
as a field turns over  a field’s field, a forest
break where the mushroom mind
gives over earth’s softness
giving the mother trees
fair warmth to pitch
their hopes.
I am
not a wolf
nor was I ever
anything but a counter
measure against the wolf’s love,
a love for the pleasure of tearing flesh
from flesh, with a sound that oceans treasure
I rip, I rip, I rip, the wolf’s measure of wolfness, of home
wherever home opened like an eye, the moon empty as empty
can sound to a soul at the bottom of the hole which is inside the belly
of a wolf who is not a wolf but a meadow creature, a mouse, a shrew, a crow
or a jay going blue for another jay in open pasture where the tether of the moon
is imagined and earth’s dressings provide pleasure where the spirit in the wolf
measures its softness to softness and learns the language of clover,
heather, a place where the moon’s poems no longer hold power,
a softness, a softness, forever, softness in heather.


the wolf moves in the shape
of hunger in the shape of hunger
a wolf moves and circles back
to deer  where they lay
clover lorn  the wolf
rings town like the moon
backs his kind
the mind of the packs
converge here   along the river
and the stores by the river
and the banks by the river
and the schools
by the river
hunger  under coin’s invisible power
a god to wolf   the power
in the shape of a moon
in the shape of belly in the shape of a town
with money packed like teeth in the mouth
shaped from a wolf’s hunger   extending out
hunger is never out
a ring of forest
the forest song all about growing
nursing a hum
to up up up the young
into crowns
and canopies
for bird minds and butterfly minds
and all thoughts of sunny   over and over
and over the thought   green
up and through the forest
pines the wolf counting
what is mine and mine
is hunger stretching its mouth  out
is green reaching out   mine
mine   mine
circles like the circle of thought
in the mind  what is this?
mine  what is this?   Mine

Queer the Wolf

Where? The wolf? Where? Where?
Out rhyming moon, out rhyming
emptiness with emptiness, writing their name
infamous infamous. Teeth, pink
with dew, teeth through with flesh.
With flesh the wolf is through;
and through the wolf falls green.
Queer the wolf with everchanging
green. Quick the wolf
in high reeds singing
with a lark’s lark upon its shag.
Upon its queen’s tail, a chain
of glamour jay gathered
and jay dropped
where the wolf would queer
lush and full; climbing
climbing until there is no canopy
but blue, the wolf not
a wolf, a flowering
cone, an ant
carrying on
to the top,
the tallest mind
all around, all
around, all around.


The Wolf Celebrates

The wolf celebrates emptiness by making more emptiness.
The cold emptiness of the moon’s music is a wide open space. 
What a great service to the moon, creating emptiness
for the moon’s influence. Why is it father wolf talks to the pup
through the moon? Why is it mother wolf shames the pup
through the moon? Who is the moon to a meadow
mind? Sunlight is the riddle, pollen and dew its turns. The moon’s mind
is borrowed from the sun’s happiness, the wolf who is not a wolf knows
this. Wild grain growing up on the edge of some windlorn brace
of locust twisting up through the swamp’s edge, here the wolf
minds the warm happiness of the green, here the wolf is not

Cassandra Whitaker (they/them) is a trans writer from Virginia whose work has been published, or is forthcoming, in Michigan Quarterly Review, The Mississippi Review, Foglifter, Superstition Review, Whale Road Review, Evergreen Review, and other places. They are a member of the National Book Critics Circle.