Gingerbread House Lit Mag

Werewolf Rules

The soul tries to be good. 

Your brain breaks, spits fire,
leans toward evil, gerrymanders
grimoires, makes antiquarian excuses,
crafts werewolf rules
to cram your day job into the schedule
of what you are really trying to do.

The soul powers through—

keeping pace with you as you gambol
along the road, free-paw, clawed
step by step, baretooth grin and howl,
backward and invalid. Almost no soul.
Half-wolf. At least you are alive.

The body needs to sprint 

in dark and cold. You run backward,
possessed by bats with spark plugs
for eyes. In quarter intervals, you revolve
the conundrum of your persistent
compassion for those who reject
you for invalid reasons.

You have to cease grating.
You have to pull on your boots.

Cultivate compassion one step
at a time, your heart pumping
your own slow walk of acceptance.

Start with your feet, push back,
lift up, lean forward, down.
Full interval. You spin, go forward,
your paws know how—

Your brain breaks, spits fire,
leans toward evil.

The soul tries to be good.

Tucker Lieberman

Tucker Lieberman is the author of Ten Past Noon: Focus and Fate at Forty, a strange biography of an early 20th-century writer. His speculative fiction can be found in Trans-Galactic Bike Ride (Microcosm) and I Didn’t Break the Lamp (Mad Scientist). He wanders around Bogotá, Colombia with the science fiction novelist Arturo Serrano.

Artwork: Yuumei

This entry was published on January 31, 2022 at 12:04 am and is filed under 49 (January 2022), Current Issue, Poetry. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.
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