Natural History


You shark-circle me, I know,

But I am in my own ocean,

Lying in hushed dark blue and looking up

To the curve of the tail of my blue whale.


You veer into the Coastal Indians,

Begin snapping shots of masks,

Of masks within masks.

A great beaked bird reveals a second visage –

Craft within craft.


I read you and the tyrannosaurus a poem.

We both want:

The sudden generation of muscle and blood,

Shiva the destroyer as tyrant king,

A charge of chaos, of clean hunger.


You are a half-ton silver crystal.

I am a sun-stained sapphire.


You are a storm-colored fish with sharp teeth.

I am a turtle with wings.


You are a galaxy so far off that I only learn from your light.

I am a brazen butterfly.


But of course that’s you –

The thing unseen,

The face behind two wooden faces.

Strict.  Careful.


And of course, that’s me –

Watery, clear, round as an O,





*  *  *





You wake up, without fail, hungry,

Sunlight pulsating onto your opened palms,

Scratching at cliffsides.

Wolves trample through your nights, mouths rouged,

Whiskered with wanting, vowing that

Morning holds wealth.


Words are idiosyncrasies, substance perfumed and imperfect.

Funny, when you dream of magic fangs,

They spirit away like steam

Before your quarry is caught.


He’s elusive, that one,

You should have torn him to fucking ribbons in his sleep.

Now his voice is a vermilion thread in night’s tapestry,

The moon is full of blood,

You call yourself witch, animal, and

You eat everything, ravening varmint.


Wolves stream though your nights, jagged predators

Snapping at phantasms, 

Mirages of muscle and meat,

Eternally at the tail-end of scent,

Mouths the color of overripe strawberries,

Tracking men long gone,

Chasing the flimsiest siren’s song,

Sleep too gravid to leap from,

Light too soft for savagery.






About the Author

Rachel is a teacher, writer, actor, and sometime aerialist living in Brooklyn, New York. She completed her MFA in Creative Writing at The New School, and her work has been published in the Los Angeles Times, the Washington PostCrab Creek Review, Off The Coast Poetry Journal, Postcard Poems and Prose, and Forage Poetry Journal.  She is working on her first book, a true crime/memoir.  Follow her (please) on Twitter @RaeRear.