Name the animal, love. If you will give
yourself over to its call, my throat will open.
You have shown me numerous escapes
but I will not use them now. Call me cat
and watch me stretch and curl. Say dog
and I will bay. The giraffe cranes her neck
and grounds it; spiders string sails homeward.
How many legs would you have me move
toward you? For you I will grow silent gills.
With you I forget how to breathe. How often
would you chase me back to shore? You are
my water reflecting sky, my sanded earth;
I circle a new nest when you sweep the old,
when you again refuse to speak me whole.
Ruth Foley lives in Massachusetts, where she teaches English for Wheaton College. Her work appears in numerous web and print journals, including Antiphon, The Bellingham Review, The Louisville Review, and Sou’wester. Her chapbook Dear Turquoise is available from Dancing Girl Press. She serves as Managing Editor for Cider Press Review.