My breath’s the wind’s breathless down-stroke
hasty claw like the gnarred finger of juniper
just now clambering for a scrap of your cloak
or your flimsy cloak of skin. I’m the sniper’s
impossible hyperbola, the hunter’s parable
of tempered skill. Know me by my fidelity
to accuracy and woodlands, my barred tail,
an infidel’s fast-day taste for flesh. Indelible
as the mind’s shadow, I move as you move
am clothed as you’re clothed: pine’s needle-
point etching the borders of our separate selves.
Predator, prey. Trying to be anything less feeble
than what you are makes you instinct’s cuckold.
Strike and be struck. Hold, hold and behold.