– “…he is in a place he has never seen before.” – Tejima
By Sonja Johanson
Wool, leather, down – if you can take it from an animal, you will. Fox tracks wander in the snow, lose the straight way up the mountain. You can’t know why they circle here, why they go into the woods, or not, how the tracks can suddenly end with no explanation, as though the fox was minding its own business, snuffling the perfume of tunneling field mice, when all at once it was the rapture for that little vulpine. This might be Reynard, come at night, casing the barnyard, looking for buckets of chicken but settling for rice pudding. This might be a funeral where skywriters make clouds from the guest of honor, where we toss about Hiroshima, talk back to cops, rattle the magic abacus. It might even be the girl fox you watched leaping in the field, when you were just a vixen yourself, when the sun was so gold on her brown skin and your red fur, before the pines grew in. You’ll never know.
– refers to the word “perfume” in After Pamela by Erin Fitzgerald