Mothers anticipate the bittersweet,
but when I opened my throat, she
shut my mouth. Children

are so wild. Stuffed
it with cloth. Then,
she sent it home. Branch-broken,

run wild, cry
into the night. Sometimes wolves
would answer. I slept in

a burnt-out hutch,
learning a witch’s charred
secrets. I yipped their

philosophy at the moon. Before
I spoke, they told me stories. Don’t
go into the woods, the wolves
will eat you whole.

I am the thing that haunts.


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