The mathematics of wolf
What’s a wolf; no one knows.
He comes out at night. He can’t be seen.
But he might be heard: a shuffling in the leaves,
the snap of broken branches, bleating,
lowing, panting, horrified shouts…
And in the morning you see what’s missing:
a tail, entrails, a young one.
Coagulated blood marks the passage.
The tragedy is that wolves are multiplying,
but, all considered, wolves are subtraction.
A wolf always bears a minus sign.
A minus sign to the sixth power.
The flocks are only the vanguard,
the maneuvers of the wolf, up in the forest.
It’s us he wants. Our conscience.
Yet, you can image what a wolf is.
You can hear him move in each stanza,
hidden by the foliage of each verse.
It’s not a fairytale. There is no moral.
It is the arithmetic of an animal.