Lycanthrope

I’d say the werewolf is a lucky guy.
He gets to read the moon and memorize it,
howl out the lunar text in fluent lupine,
and when the lyrics pall and the moon grows old,
he reverses himself—but reserves his second self,
leaving his fur in a spot at the edge of the wood.
His latent talent’s a two-sided coin—
except that, heads or tails, both sides are downsides:
the werewolf enterprise is either/or,
where neither option wins the day (or night).

Observe the electron. One way or another,
however you look, it has it all together,
a particle and a wave concurrently
without the trauma of toggling between the two.
The werewolf, though, has no integrity.
He’s less than one, or worse—he’s two times neither.
At noon it’s warm, but soon the sun grows cold;
and later his alter ego claws at him—
an itch in his skin for a pelt and yellow eyes.

Deborah Warren

Deborah Warren

Deborah Warren’s books include The Size of Happiness (2003, Waywiser Press); Zero Meridian (2004, Ivan R. Dee), winner of the New Criterion Poetry Prize; Dream With Flowers and Bowl of Fruit (2008, Evansville), which won the Richard Wilbur Award, and Ausonius: The Moselle and Other Poems (2017, Routledge). Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Poetry, and The Yale Review. In 2021, her book Strange to Say: Etymology for Serious Entertainment and her book Connoisseurs of Worms are forthcoming from Paul Dry Press.
Deborah Warren

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Author: Deborah Warren

Deborah Warren’s books include The Size of Happiness (2003, Waywiser Press); Zero Meridian (2004, Ivan R. Dee), winner of the New Criterion Poetry Prize; Dream With Flowers and Bowl of Fruit (2008, Evansville), which won the Richard Wilbur Award, and Ausonius: The Moselle and Other Poems (2017, Routledge). Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Poetry, and The Yale Review. In 2021, her book Strange to Say: Etymology for Serious Entertainment and her book Connoisseurs of Worms are forthcoming from Paul Dry Press.