Emily Paskevics

LAST SCENT, HELD LIKE WINTER IN MY LUNGS

 

Months after the hunt
and I’m still spent. All shed bare.
Spring comes and I don’t have
one howl left within me, not
a crooked tooth in my jaw,
not a single bristled hair
or hoof or bloodied claw.

Just this forked tongue, brittle,
and an instinct kept hot in the shell
of my fist. I spread myself here—
spine to the dirt, throat to the sky.
I’ve only come back for a moment
to catch this last scent
of a stolen season.

You know, we could have tried.
Circling the remains of this place,
we could have stayed—even bruised
and then rebirthed into new scales,
under other stars. Now, tracking
back, you’ll find only a woman-
shaped space

where the secret beast
once lurked, bucked,

played. 

                                    
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