The Beautiful Animal

By the time I recalled that it is also
terrifying, we had gone too far into
the charmed woods to return. It was then

the beautiful animal appeared in our path:
ribs jutting, moon-fed eyes moving
from me to you and back. If we show

none of the fear, it may tire of waiting
for the triggering flight, it may ask only
to lie between us and sleep, fur warm

on our skin, breath sweet on our necks
as it dreams of slaughter, as we dream
alternately of feeding and taming it

and of being the first to run. The woods
close tight around us, lying nested here
like spoons in a drawer of knives, to see

who wakes first, and from which dream.

“The Beautiful Animal” from Weighing Light by Geoffrey Brock, copyright © 2005 by Geoffrey Brock, by permission of Ivan R. Dee, Publisher.
Source: Weighing Light: Poems by Geoffrey Brock (Ivan R. Dee, 2005)
More Poems by Geoffrey Brock