It glitzed the vinyl floor
an oxblood hue. Outside a clatter
in the naked snag. Crow caws
like stilettos on concrete. For years
they’ve been warning us—
black Cassandras of the power lines.
It’s sad, really, how pain teaches
truth, as if it knows something
we need to learn.
It seems so simple—
the fox choked on chicken feathers,
the wolf slit open, the eaten freed.
I can barely wait for the ending,
the lifted axe, the melted witch.
How I love a campfire story—
my face hot from the blaze,
my back blained with cold.
Behind me, the tangled trees,
the endless dark, so many ravenous
creatures I can’t see.
Dion O’Reilly‘s first book, Ghost Dogs, was published in February 2020 by Terrapin Books. Her work appears in Cincinnati Review, Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, Narrative, The New Ohio Review, The Massachusetts Review, New Letters, Sugar House Review, Rattle, The Sun, and other literary journals and anthologies.
Photograph by James Todd.