I saw my life a wolf loping along the road--
a glint of bone, visible & then gone,
a landscape altered.
Ideas, hair, fingers
fall & come to naught.
A shirt blows across the field.
A shrug of stars as flowers go out on the sea.
Maybe the whole world is absentminded
or floating. The flower, the weather,
the room empties its mind of me,
the sea-pulse of my utterance.
I have stood for a long time
at the edge of a river, unknown, nameless,
hands groping for the shape of the animal.
Not knowing what all the music had been hiding.
Stunned by gold, we see coming
in full gallop, at vertiginous speed, the last sun,
frail orbits, green tries, games of stars.
We are looking for a way to live
as the she-wolf of these clouds tumbles
down through stricken dawn-dark, slanting
through the quadrant seasons, deep
between vineyards rows. With her teeth
the she-wolf reaches the blonde braid of a star,
a thing of gleaming: a radiant evanescence
the blue dogs paw. Lick the dew
opening beautifully inside my brain
where everything is green like quetzal flowers
or the light in the skull of a bird
or a thousand tropics in an apple blossom--
What's there: the endless clear country road,
a cold drink before sunset & then a bed.
We are looking for a way to live.
Who will take the madness from the trees?
The petals of dead planets broken.
What do they matter now, the deprivations.
Your voice will never recover
what was said once, so when you hold
the hemisphere & once more take up the world,
I can see myself in you as though I were sitting
in a beautiful wound. I drink from your footprint
& see: a red wolf strangled by an angel
against the immeasurable sun. This terrifying
world is not devoid of charms--
the poppy that no girl's finger has opened,
farmhouses dark against a sublime blue,
an airplane whistling from the other world.
In the distance someone is singing. In the distance
a slow, sweet song crowded with floating animals
& small artifacts: bell jar, honeycomb, revolver.
Can we describe the world this way--
with stars & bullet holes? A presence or its contrary?
Like dizzy horses that dissolve into a dust of sheen,
I pass through them as they pass through me.
-from Wolf Centos
BIO: Simone Muench is the author of five books, including Orange Crush (Sarabande, 2010) and Wolf Centos (Sarabande, 2014). Her chapbook Trace received the Black River Award in 2014. Some of her honors include an NEA fellowship, Illinois Arts Council fellowships, the Marianne Moore Prize for Poetry, the Kathryn A. Morton Prize for Poetry, the PSA's Bright Lights/Big Verse Contest, and residency fellowships to Yaddo, Artsmith, and the Vermont Studio Center. At Lewis University, she serves as professor of English and chief faculty advisor for Jet Fuel Review. Her collaborative sonnets, written with Dean Rader, are forthcoming in the American Poetry Review, New American Writing, Zyzzyva, Blackbird, and other journals.