Forget Forest

Janet Kauffman

Fire into the sky, into the tall grass,
that’ll help at first, shoot the moon, the dog,
but then—stop—lop off the edges,
zero in, forget webs, forget forest,
take aim at one thing, one more,
you know the rule is whatever
walks or flies and does not say amen
or build or marry or join you at the ranch
bungalow garage mansion office
living-room kitchen bed, no room
for any weathering, wild-eyed, whatever
wolf, woman, child, bird, mother or father,
you can name them, all those things
outside day and night, you know, no need
for you, they live in unswept worlds,
you can’t live that way, you just can’t
walk by, let live, admire or even pay
homage, hell, what do you mean admire,
she just might turn and tear you apart
with teeth, her bare hands, you don’t know
how without tools or armor they can scare
the hellfire out of you but you do know
what it takes, you’re dressed, belted, geared,
you won’t break one fingernail
out of fear.