To say the scene: sagebrush
where the deer come to rest
from valley lights, farm trucks.
They step from the corn
like words — canny, slight, unasked.
Spider, mouse, instinct — stuffing
of domestic places. Quiet virus,
urges — passing at dawn between
what can be said & what can be
only known. Cairns on top —
add a stone. Below, black fenceline,
row crops. Blood in the clay and cold
rain makes it stick. Cut meat from
bones. Hard to keep anything clean.
A Thing Running Begs to be Caught
scared a moose
from bed in downfall. He crashed
off and my first move, before thought,
was to chase:
a thing running
begs to be caught.
saw the cop and stepped
off. He came with gun drawn
on your knees,
hands behind your head
and though couldn’t decide
my crime, jailed anyway:
shot a red squirrel. Once
in my hand,
small and warm,
I didn’t know why
I’d wanted it. Hide
in the bag. Keep
The slick, flickering room
held others who had turned—
Navajo in detox on the tile:
loitering at the bus station.
Young men with warrants,
Old one killed his neighbor’s
dog. Bile in the drinking fountain
and the stainless shitter—
than compassion for the caught,
Yazi stood in the night—seized—
fell on me. Beating
the door’s inside,
yelling to no answer.
Christian Woodard is a freelance writer and guide based in Laramie, WY. He has been a news writer, orchardist, hunting guide, commercial fisherman, and ranch hand, among other dirty, violent things. He's had plenty of time to vilify and exonerate his participation in death. Long-live moral villainy! His creative writing appears in Cirque, Pudding, Work, Wilderness House, Plough Quarterly, Tidal Echoes, and BlazeVOX.