Bait: A Queer Myth

— Gavin Yuan Gao

When history looks back, I want to be
             remembered as the small red fox
                          who once set a trap for the hunter.

Royal with want, I leapt & flickered
             like a fever all winter as he followed me
                          into the lesser-known part of the myth.

This, of course, was the twentieth year
             of my frayed breath. The sky, obscured
                          by the desire of clouds, bore down on us

like a swollen eyelid. Later, I let him
             catch me, felt his brute strength shifting
                          inside my softness with the patience

of snow, our bodies rippling toward clarity
             as moonlight swallowed our loud flesh.
                          I remember his exhaustion afterward, his

cold formality—how the salt gleamed across
             our shadows on the bare ground. I watched
                          him struggle to pull on his boots. Watched him

get up & disappear into the rest of the year.
             I can still taste the wind from the back
                          of his throat. I think I always will.

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