radioactive wolves

by AMY ROA

All my dreams take place in a house I’ve never been to.
A place west of the rubber trees where workmen plant fluorescent orange flags
on spots known to be flush with radioactive wolves.
My mother, inside, adjusts her wig, counts all her children,
and says, “the wolf pack spends all its life cycle circling the cord grass like someone in love.”
Then she leaves to huddle in a nearby culvert, and smoke cigarette after cigarette.
I have seven sisters, all named Wendy, each of them have their own separate dreams where
they’re cuddling a sleek black pony. They write to several government officials offering their
services to charge into battle, ready to fight communism.
Our house has no roof. The sunlight breathes down, settles in among the furniture like a guest.
Though they chew chunks of hair off our scalps,
we often keep juvenile wolves strapped to our backs for warmth.
One of the Wendys says, “Things aren’t so bad are they? Creatures like this usually kill on fifty-
three percent of their attacks. And we can still pray with our hands.”
The truth is, I’ve never met a wolf I didn’t like,
I’ve hated every job I’ve ever had I once held a cricket,
its abdomen close to my ear, and walked through a vein in its heart.

Amy Roa holds an M.F.A in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. Her poetry has appeared in the North American Review, The Moth, and the Antioch Review.