I. Entering Their Terrain

Sometimes I walk
licking my wounds
into the territories of
other women wolves.

They greet me with a friendly grin
as human wolves are trained to do
but inside I know they are growling
trying to shoo me away.

As I amble on into their territory,
the instinctual wolfish women
provoke me into a miniature battle
—I lose.

I stealthily retrace my steps with new wounds,
afraid of crossing into territories of the wild wolves.

II. When Wolfish Women Who Are Supposed To Live In Packs Are Alone

Detached from my scar-faced clan
of phenomenal women wolves,
I walk the solitary depths of the forest
looking for nightfall.

At the dead of the night
I raise my hung-up face and howl
a lonely howl to the distant moon.

III. When the Hunt Begins

The famished woman wolf seeks to please her soul.
A snapping of a twig, a shaking of the leaves
every bit of sound means the movement of prey.

She sniffs the bushes, circles the trails,
perks up her ears and follows the wind.
When her flitting glances finally find her food,
she rushes and lounges and bites her prey to death.

After her kill she leaves
bloody footprints on the forest floor.

_____

Photograph by Joel Sartore / NationalGeographic.com

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Ajapa Sharma
Ajapa Sharma is the co-founding editor of Mithila Review. Her poetry and nonfiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Strange Horizons, These Fine Lines, The Kathmandu Post and Studies in Nepali History and Society, among other publications. You can find her at Twitter: @Ajapa_Sharma Website: http://ajapasharma.com