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The plumber says well it can’t
be a wolf that I hear howling at night,
we don’t get wolves around here.

Around here, we don’t get wolves
slinking past our windowpanes or leaving
pawprints in the mud by the front gate.

In the mud by the front gate, pawprints
tracked a path to the welcome mat
this morning. Like a fool I swept them away.

I swept them away this morning, like a fool
believing my word would be enough
for the plumber fixing my pipes.

Fixing my pipes, for the plumber,
is a simple thing. He whistles gently as I tell him
about the yellow eyes I saw last night.

The yellow eyes I saw last night, about
the same shape as his, but larger, shine brighter as
the moon leans in close to laugh at me.

To laugh at me the moon leans in close
and trails its fingers down my spine.
I twitch and spill my coffee a second time.

A second time, I twitch and spill my coffee
on the plumber’s boots. He smiles.
The dark seeps in faster underneath the lights.

Underneath the lights, the dark seeps in faster,
howling at night. Can it be a wolf that I hear?
Well, it can’t, the plumber says.



Kaily Dorfman was born and raised in Santa Cruz, California. She has an MA in English literature from UC Santa Barbara, and a BA in the same field from UC Berkeley. Currently, she is an MFA candidate in poetry at UC Irvine.
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13 May 2024

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