2 Poems
by Steven Teref

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Babysitter

If my head were shaved,
an encyclopedia of demons
would sprout: Sitri,
Bune, Samigina: the map
of my chthonian passage.

In the chase-with-a-carving-knife night,
in the handcuffed-to-the-bedpost day,
in the break-my-favorite-glass magic trick,
in the lick-my-crack-I’ll-lick yours bathroom,
he makes me wear red-and-black masks
to hide his curdled crave.

Give me an Irish wolfhound
so the babysitter can go home
to his candled grave.





Event Poem

Folktale:

The dream-wolf bears its fangs:
ghost proteins through glass veins

umbilicaled to ground, the child
waits her turn.  The sibling wolf

slavers over his sister.
Their parental eye: the void.

Creation myth:

From the first blood drop, a ladybug fluttered;
a red bell pepper sprouted from the second;
from the third, a fox.

Fox hunt:

Squandered breath,
veins’ blue tracks,
fiery train of dawn.

Remains:

Fox skull: a field mouse
scuttles from socket to socket.