By Joseph Campana
Little man, I said, keep the wolf
from my door: one more night,
one more wretched night and day.
The wolf said wait and the season
was packing its bags, but it would
not leave and it would never leave.
Little man, I said, there’s a tooth
at my throat, and the tooth said
time and it was really a wolf and it
was cloaked in a sheep’s skin of
satisfaction, and there was a fury
raining down at night and it tapped
at the windows. Little man, I said,
close the door, there’s a wolf in
the air, and there is a fury that even
fear can’t touch and it is gnawing
me, I feel it gnawing at me and
the wolf said shelter and I knew it
was a lie, I felt it as a lie, I could
already feel its teeth tearing my skin.
Joseph Campana is a poet, critic and scholar of Renaissance literature. He is the author of two collections of poetry, “The Book of Faces” (Graywolf, 2005) and “Natural Selections,” which won the 2011 Iowa Poetry Prize. He teaches Renaissance literature and creative writing at Rice University.