Two bodies, one bed, one flea
(werewolf love poem)
Your mattress rests directly on the carpet –
less a bed than a den, and you moonstruck
with fever. Another man who mostly meant well
told me that only animals sweat – men perspire
and women glow. You’re sure not glowing, snarled
darling – luminous with bleary mucus and beady
rivulets of sweat that stain the sheets with beastly heat.
When I crouch to tousle your cowlick
you snap, all achy teeth. Pet, you don’t need
a nursemaid, you need a vet.
Equipped with a tranquil needle, medicinal
ketamine to keep you in the dream, or at least
something to bite down on. Pig’s ear
for gnawing. Fresh bone to suck
the marrow from. I bring my lesser offerings, save you
imagery from my feed, recite the meme aloud:
INSIDE YOU THERE ARE TWO WOLVES
THEY ARE BOTH GAY. Lover, we howl laughter.
As your sickness wanes, we curl together
into tessellated crescents on the duvet;
two moons rising in the sky,
a dangerous and fragile light.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rebecca Hawkes’ first book Meat Lovers was released by AUP in 2022 and won Best First International Collection in the UK-based Laurel Prize for ecopoetry. She is an editor for the online journal Sweet Mammalian and the anthology of climate poetry No Other Place to Stand, as well as a propagator of carnivorous pitcher plants.