Anser Journal

The cougar expands her red mouth

By Lynn Finger

over me as I finally lie down to join her, under mesquite
in high desert. I am tablecloth & picnic table both,

because I’ve been nothing but cement waves &
cryptic sunflowers born overnight, I let the cougar
devour me, only to be truly known by her, my lies

winnowed into truths, my fears dampened
into the corners of my abdomen, her burnished teeth seek
the center of whatever breathes there, the marrow
of my memories,

the lies I told, standing in the kitchen, saying
I will stay, then packing. Swearing I am sober
sober then buying SoCo at the corner.
The planned effort
all my work days to be unwrinkled,

wondered if the pink
shoes were appropriate, the sin of untucked blouses,
all salt for her taste, my intestines

a bird’s nest, coiled red ligaments, to be chiseled & riven.
Is the human condition so riddled with doubt & amnesia?

Now she’s digging deep, my
drumming thigh meat, pulse of my heart alive,
splayed open. Cougar’s unquestioning eyes like a child’s
as she takes me in.

My body is a night song, gemmed with red grapes
& emotion riding ribs, nestled intestines.

It is a relief to lose all that I carried. I am taken by the sky.
Over the canyon a hawk
stitches the light to my eyes, my muscles are nets.

I am kindling, the cougar an inferno. After so much stalking,
after so much waiting, my body’s secrets traverse the sky.
I shiver with the lightness
of lost lies, wanting more, a bird nest untangled.


Lynn Finger’s writings have appeared in 8Poems, Perhappened, Twin Pies, Book of Matches, Miniskirt Magazine, Drunk Monkeys and is forthcoming in Resurrection Mag. Lynn is an editor at Harpy Hybrid Review and works with a group that mentors writers in prison. Follow Lynn on Twitter @sweetfirefly2.