AN ETHIOPIAN MONGOOSE

I once shot a mongoose—
it was pursuing its own shadow,
in the shape of an impala,
across a plain in Ethiopia.
From the right and left
came the barks of lions
and wild dogs
and a churlish gang of hyenas.

The mongoose reproached me
as it died.

That night it came to me
in the shape of a naked woman.
Her white thigh tilted
as she sat near my face.
We held a long conversation—
I can remember none of it.

In the morning, moonlight
was replaced by red heat.
—d.n. stuefloten