Metamorphosis

The man I love is turning into a wolf.
I have said nothing to anyone so far.
I try not to stare, but seen from the back, the shelf
of his shoulders is matted with springy hair,

the muscular columns flanking his prominent spine
are covered in lichen, wiry curls that glisten
with sweat, then dry to a crackly sheen.
He covers great distances out in the sun

running in company over the forested miles.
His legs grow narrower, columns of steely bone,
driving the belt of the tracks past his curving nails –
and he slows to a lope to circle the not-yet-known.

I think I have always liked wolves.
His diamond teeth close round the back of my neck
in a steadying grip and I enter his ravenous dreams,
carnivorous heat. I am taken for miles in the dark.

I bury my nose in his stink, ride sounder
for feeling those sinews under his rough-cast fur.
For knowing he’s keeping one luminous eye
on the shapes in the trees, the lie of the Northern star.

Beatrice Garland