Timing is everything

and what precision
to come upon the licked-clean rungs of a ribcage
rank smell of appetite,
dangling snags of flesh too tough to trouble with
too mere to pull, to snap from the bone

The caribou's back an arc of torn tawny skin,
its limbs twisted in bramble, head sulking in mud

Pods of scat crossing our trail still soft:
were our footsteps a warning? pups nearby?

You'll never see a wolf here, they said,
reclusive and few    but an hour later, three
pace beside us along the riverbed

not fast or slow, just on their way, parallel,
coats tinged pink

while in the cave of carcass left behind,
the heart of coincidence beating

Published in Sugar Mule

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