Friday, June 1, 2012

"Duck Sauce – Big Bad Wolf (4:53)" by Brian Oliu

The wolf does not announce its presence—it does not answer the spitting of ashes into the air with its name; it does not stretch vowels out like fingernails, like smoke trails curling in on themselves, like the smell of fire on our clothes long after we have gone to bed, long after we fold the blankets under our feet to keep them warm: our eyes in the dark watching the slide latch on the door. This wolf founded this city: licked at its toes, stuck its wet nose into the red clay and kindling, found us there: cold and waiting for the next war to send black soot up our noses. When the wolf died, it became a ghost—it walked through us like an open jaw, tooth glinting. In the story, the wolf swallows the girl whole and gets a knife to the belly for his ambition: a long cut straight up from the navel and to the bottom of his gullet—the girl pulled from the stomach bloody and swimming in everything the wolf has eaten: a small smashed berry, muscles left behind on bare bone. I saw the girl, dripping red, eyes closed, and she reminded me of you—scratches on her arms, a small mouth too delicate to open. I am waiting for the girl that is not you to announce her presence, to wonder what has happened: what became of the wolf she lived inside, that someone must be worried, yes, someone must be worried sick. The wolf, I would tell her, loved you. The wolf who loved you is inside out, eyes to the stars. Your mother, the one with the pearls, threw herself into the woods. This is what I would tell her if she asked. I would tell her about the girl she reminded me of: bread cut into triangles, every song memorized, neck stiff from looking downward. The girl that found a city where there was no city, who kicked glass until it stuck in her soles, who threw her shoes into the tree. The girl who knew what to say to the wolf. The girl who crawled into bed with him while I watched from the trees. The girl who stood in front of the mirror and asked for something to come back to her, to come back whole, never eaten, never clawed to vinegar. I would never tell her that no one gets swallowed whole: that they are bitten and chewed like teeth through skin, like mouths over bark. I would tell her that I found you, you are safe now, I found you. Here is the house where we both will live. Here is where we will make our beds.

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