We’ve named all of the animals
& we’ve put our fingers into the names
of each of them. We’ve dragged
their names up to our faces
& forced them to meet our made
up world. Sometimes we are given
kisses. Sometimes there is
a great warmth. We know they
are wild. We know there is danger.
We know if we allow the sweet wolf
into our veins it will become
the alpha inside our own bodies
& yet, what a pool to drown in.
The chemicals of each breed
brings a new threat.
There have been so many Ohioans
eaten from the inside out
that I’ve been forced
to re-think exactly what these drugs
are in our world. They are wolves.
We’ve been raised by them.
Darren C. Demaree is the author of six poetry collections, most recently Many Full Hands Applauding Inelegantly (8th House Publishing, 2016). He is the managing editor of the Best of the Net Anthology and Ovenbird Poetry. He currently lives in Columbus, OH with his wife and children.
Image: “Westminster Dog Show” by Courtney Bernardo