Sky White – Hunting (pt 1)

by heytherewildflower

tiger burns final

He prowls the forest of the longest winter on earth.
He leaps from balding rock to balding rock,
claws scrape the ancient vein. He smells meat.
Not live meat, but blood, fresh on the snow.

His approach is slow, but death’s iron scent
catches the air, drawing him closer. Dried
yellow leaves twist in the prints left behind.

He flexes his wrist, spears the tepid pink
pig’s haunch on claw’s point, and the blood
drizzles pleasantly onto his grained paw pad.
he pauses to examine the sensation.

The blood has eaten a misshapen hole in the snow-
a sallow pulp lies prone there, stuck like a bull’s
eye in the blood.

He sets his whole paw onto the pig’s belly.
Blood outlines his toes’ troughs and peaks.
Metal spikes his nose and spice his throat.
White hairs on the foreleg become stained red.
Follicles engorged at their roots- to the skin.

He opens his jaw; incisors indicating each other,
unlike mountain peaks reflected in dark water,
and unlike mountains and water, they never touch.
Even when the jaw is closed.

His neck swoops towards the flesh like a scimitar.
Bestowing his kiss with a flash, he yanks.

And with mouthful of meat, before he can swallow,
the mud under the blood cracks to life. Whomp!
His titanic mass is slung like a flame whip
into bloody loam. The quake makes dirt fly.

He screams. A feral mew wrung from the tiger’s throat
clings to the gut; like a fallen Redwood’s thunder
after it is struck, prone, torn asunder, smoking.

Bones crunch. The yawn of steel teeth crunches shut.
Sound snaps tree to tree until sound swallows.
Blood burbling, once sunken, is drunk.

Double parabola spurts from the nostrils. Whiskers droop
under the blood. Tongue like a busted jack in the box,
juts. A swollen oyster stiffening in the sun. Death rattles
from between his lips like breath from a black metal harpsichord.