MY HUSBAND is in love with a wolf, but not just any wolf. The wolf that lives behind our shed and scratches in the dirt. She slinks out in the star-stained evenings, her brown fur like hackles of raised earth. My husband imagines she is in love with him because she sits before him. Because she eats the greasy food he brings. Because she lets him scratch her ears with his fat fingers before skittering away. Mike, get away from her, she's wild, I tell him. It's okay, she likes me, she's safe, he says, his bright words dusted with smoke. I don't tell him he's wrong. I don't tell him it's me she comes to see. The she-wolf lingers in the light of the moon after my husband has retreated to bed. I spot her from the kitchen window, waiting, watching, her tail flicking like a broom. She is all I think of. At work, at home. In bed, I run my husband's pubic hair through my fingers, and I start to cry. I am a grown woman, and married, and human. An animal I am not. And yet, the next night, here I am. Foot on porch, slipping on a silk kimono. Fine, I say. I prop open the screen door. You might as well come in. The wolf sits on her haunches. Her glittery eyes fixed on me, straight ahead, like stones that will never be cast down. You might as well come out, she says. I kneel beside her. She lowers her head. Her black nose, dewdrop damp, exhales spirit into the night air. She reminds me of someone I used to be, someone I'd ache to be. A prowler. Sexually ravenous, an untamed red-tongue on a whim, a spook from storybooks. She pushes her snout into my kimono, into my breast. My mouth parts, tears star my eyes. She is hunting. Hunting for a briny tang of sweat, a whisper of milk, the spilled spittle of sour cum. I grip the scruff of her neck. She is soft like I imagined, a misplaced luxury in the wild. To her face, I press mine. We breathe together, my heart a drumbeat alongside her fire-breathing nostrils. Her tongue flicks against my earlobe. Courage snaps through me like a stinging sheet. Oh, oh, oh, oh,my howl flies like bats in the night, like I am saying yes to the wild, like I am not too gentle to do this thing called wolf.
Jules lives in Arizona. She likes to smell old books and drink red wine. Her chapbook ALL THE GHOSTS WE'VE ALWAYS HAD is out from Thirty West Publishing.