Jason B. Crawford

Your friends say it is a full moon tonight—
so you need to come outside
to go dance in a club soaked in gut
saturated with enough fear to cut open
let it spill out on the dance floor like fresh silver

You protest—there will be loaded tongues
dipped in melted spoons—
But you go;
Put on your best teeth
Comb the flesh out of your fur;
You are ready

And it is here
boys say teach me
to give permission to
let another empty them

mouth drying out
like an oven split open
Where everyone has learned to read you
Like a library of fangs

And you wonder if this music
is another form of grief;
If the beat keeps dropping
to its knees one last time
and your hips are just trying to catch
as many funerals as they can

But it’s here
you’re not a rabbit in a cave of wolves
yet rather a wolf
And the bats don’t circle around you too closely
for fear you might open your mouth
pour out the starlight you hold in your lungs

It is here
you don’t see a man
that might see you a river
free to drink from

You don’t really see men here at all
just children
dancing cloud to cloud for each song,
Blooming celebration every time a comet shower
makes backdrop for the moon

And oh the moon!
How we call it mother
How we dress it in heels and a contour
How in front of her
we undress our own human husks
Leave them somewhere by the shore

How we howl
and prance
and think nothing of the hunters
or their arrows
or bullets
or laws

How we can be of this wild here
until the last song plays
and the moon turns to dip behind
the curtain of the trees

while we grab our coats
to be human again
to be hidden once more

Jason B. Crawford