Self-Portrait as a Hare

by Ricardo Pau-Llosa

Liebre, the artist calls himself, ears
cocked and fuming, frounced glare, the hunted
usually, on the hunt for self-control
without the rock quietude when talons near
or the grey dissolve into tundra’s roll
that trains the ribbed wolf to smell perfected
difference. Gone, too, is the furry pear
of vulnerability as the canine lurched
from within, a shaved arc wagging its tail.
It is the vested dawn alone that frees
a creature to drop an “e” and sever old
destinies. What calms the dread of spotted
pattern now metering the new spring soil?
From loops above he’s made a cradle fit for moles.

Ricardo Pau-Llosa has published six books of poetry, the last four with Carnegie Mellon. He has new work in American Poetry Review, The Fiddlehead, Poetry, Southern Review, and Stand, among other magazines. He is also a widely published art critic. More at www.pau-llosa.com.

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