by Michelle Stoll


The warm winter sun heavies my eyelids
I fall asleep remembering
what it is to be a rabbit
snug down in grass
flat as held breath
unaware of art, oil,
tomorrow, or the politics
of fur and flesh

Liberated from reason,
a treasonous place to dwell
if you’re human, cut loose
from shoulds, oughts, and nevers,
left to feel the moon rise, hear
the leaves gossip, eavesdrop
on the earth’s bedtime prayers

This late afternoon I am half hare
half woman, my creature body
listening for a quiver of breath, snap
of twig, shift in pressure within
this winter den of dreams

A knock on my suburban door
scatters housecats across hardwood
floors, a twitch, a nose wriggle, sudden
leap of foot and fur, reel me in, un-nap me,
cast me into the snare of human thought

Frozen in the jaws of Tuesday afternoon
I gather wit and will, turn from briar
and bramble, from wind in grass, to ticking clocks,
ringing phones, unpaid bills, deadbolt locks

But underneath my furless skin
inside my belly, primal and dark,
I begin an inward crawl, remembering
how it feels when leaves fall
and sunlight waltzes beyond the hills
when fields bed down and
southward geese sing rabbits to sleep

Michelle Stoll is an MFA candidate at Mississippi University for Women and lives near Little Rock, Arkansas. Her poems have appeared in publications such as SLANT, Glasgow Review, Galway Review, Snakeskin, Crosswinds, and Rat's Ass Review. She was shortlisted for the Wigtown International Poetry Prize. She enjoys naps, rides in the country, and the company of questionable characters.