? SLAB | Sound & Literary Art Book

Issue 7

Contest Winners

Meg Cowen

God Classifies the Fox


November 23, 2011
Kingdom: Animalia
These legs will carry you across plate, across ocean.
Let the floating seeds, freed of their husks, guide your eyes.

Phylum: Chordata
You could turn to look back, though you should not.
There will be staunch grass and beaten stones ahead
—all asking to be touched.

Class: Mammalia
Carry the small ones on your back.  Brace your lungs
against the biting frost, the invasive damp.
Do it gladly—this is my gift to you.

Order: Carnivore
Do not rue your taste for blood and marrow—your own
will one day ripen the clover and moss that feed them.

Family: Canidae
You will find the moon a fickle friend—sharing your path
but deaf to your moans of hunger; your pleas for comfort.

Genus: Vulpes
In your skulk you will learn to pounce and gather.
Burrow your den between roots; betray
the heart of the tree.

Species: Vulpes vulpe
The dart of your auburn brush is benediction to a weary eye.
Had they throats, headlights would gasp.