I find it lying in the grass beneath the shade of a jack pine.
Red streaked saliva drips off yellowed fangs and pale gums
while its chest pulls in shallow breaths that rise and fall
like the restless boughs above its body.
When I look down into its hazel eyes and unpleading pupils,
I know there is nothing anyone can do.
Even still, I stand beside it.
I stop watching the blood trickle from its side.
I close my eyes and imagine its undeath.
The wolf sucks bloody saliva back into its mouth.
It stands up while pulped organs and shattered bones
reform. The bullet spits out of its side and flies
across the field – back down a rifle’s barrel.
The casing leaps back up from the grass and glides
into the chamber at the slide of a lever. The casing
remarries the bullet when the man pulls the trigger.
He lowers the gun, locks eyes with the wolf,
And watches it walk backward into the woods.
Nick Trelstad is a twenty-one-year-old poet and undergraduate in the College of Saint Scholastica’s English program. He has had previous works of poetry published in literary magazines such as Sink Hollow.