The wolves are snarling today, so I set the table slowly.
He says, you’re so beautiful, but one wolf
won’t let me believe, & I won’t let the other close enough
to lick the good china. You’ve heard this myth.
One dark, one light, live inside. Feed one
& it survives. When will we learn
what we starve always becomes claw
& teeth & snarl? When we see our own ribs, we begin
to mash & gnaw. It is easier to believe,
to break (& break into) what is seen.
So, I close my eyes & set the table. He says,
you’re so beautiful today, but one wolf is sacrificing
the other on the altar of our expectations.
Here is a severed paw, red against turquoise fiesta ware.
Here is an eyetooth, ivory parsley. Here, one blue eye, one
brown. A carafe to wash it down. When will
we remember the myth says if we feed both wolves right—
generosity & selfishness, humility & pride—
we all win? So, today, I set the table slowly,
soothe hands over smooth wood grain, one fork
for each plate. Leave the chairs pulled back, forgiving.
I know those high school girls called my arms & legs retarded
because, like me, they were afraid of their own bodies.
He says, you’re so beautiful. Fancy dress & made-up
I might believe, but not make-up free. One wolf says
he only wants sex. One says attraction is beyond bone deep.
Starve one, or guide both—you get to choose.
They say beauty is symmetry. I set the table slowly today,
the wolves are snarling.