The Tan­ner's Bride

New England Review - - Table of Contents - Erin Lynch

I move into the reek of tepid flesh, learn to scrape hides and on them needle­point vines from cob­webs. Last night you touched me

with such at­ten­tion I felt it would be wrong to move. Since you do not ask my se­crets, I have stopped hav­ing them. Still I re­bind

my jour­nal in deer skin and run a finger down the spine. What last I wrote: Have my eyes be­come empty ant hills? Can kind­ness

be a kind of quar­ter­ing? Curled around my knees on the wolf skin rug, I wish I could fit in its jaws. The rug hides

a trapdoor into the room where you stroke the limp haunch of a doe. Peel­ing her skin, you are quiet and en­grossed.

Stretched out above, I dream of run­ning through a for­est of pelts, pur­sued. I come to a pool and bend over it to find

I am a hind with lac­er­a­tions for eyes. Part of her al­ways takes flight. Though your fist pounds the trap door, my body is a latch you can't lift.

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