Mehrnoosh Torbatnejad, Winter 2017

Red Fox
Mehrnoosh Torbatnejad

He called the red fox cunning,
in demeaning tone, critical of the
trustless mammal with limb bones,
as if he were not the huntsman
with no fixed abode, shadowing
untrained prey late evening,

leaving carcass abed early morning;
flesh unsuspecting, martyrs long
for the feel of his brilliant fur,
tiers of red, unsteady shades like
manic waves of fire,
veiling the scope of his skin

Nimble body points like arrow
when game is sighted, his oval
eyes a reflection of the egg before
him, leaps and sails above victim
before landing on daydreaming target,
then explores other ranges

for tail softer than his own,
plotting surplus killing, moving
swiftly so pawns never notice
his narrow skull, just the snow
of his chest and lower lips;
at least, I tell him,

they scheme deceitful for survival,
and the cross that forms
from the stripes down their spine
is not worn around their paws,
dangling from smooth wrist,
or clutched desperately in animal grip

Mehrnoosh Torbatnejad was born and raised in New York. Her poetry has appeared in The Missing Slate, Passages North, HEArt Journal Online, and Chiron Review, and is forthcoming in Natural Bridge and Pinch Journal. She currently lives in New York, where she practices matrimonial law.


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