On My Self-Destructive Tendencies

Sunset at Beachmere, Australia – 09/08/2019

unshaken dew on your fur
shatters the early morning rays into a million coloured shards
your back heaves up and down between ragged breaths
head pointed skywards, a low moan escapes

I, a wretched husk.

a rusted chain stretches between us, bloodied wrist to paw
I remember when I came across you
when we were both much younger
bygone days, when we chased one another
wrestled in the foothills
held each other in those long biting winters

my hands tremble, my eyes mimic them
the only remnants of our roars burn our throats
our wounds seethe with pain
but neither acknowledge it

I fell in love with you
with your strength and softness
a lumbering hulk of meat and fur and bone
but we're both old now, both exhausted by each other
you need to live without my shackles on you

a low rustle, as you pull on the umbilicus once more
I reach over, unclasp the paw
the one with a bracelet of pale skin
we stare into each other

I don't know how to live without you.

This piece was written around February 2018. Lot’s Wife accepted it as a piece for their print edition – Issue 4, 2018.