I drove out to the desert
one cold and moonlit night
in December, testing the theory
of animals speaking human
tongues at midnight Christmas Eve.
My whimsy taught me far older
wisdom, plunged into a deeper
past than my Christian forebears
could ever willingly admit.
The flickering flames that warmed
my body freed my mind to wander,
mysterious sounds layering the night:
crackling and popping mesquite,
screeing crickets, and the shivering
ululation of a single coyote’s cry
to the waxing moon. The night
deepened, approached its zenith,
and as the moon and wood smoke
vied for supremacy, they coalesced
in front of my eyes to a long snout,
gleaming teeth, golden eyes,
and a throaty voice that emerged
as if from the night itself.
“Welcome,” Loki grunted,
“You’ve taken too long to return, sister,”
and with that a long pink tongue
swiped my cheek, and I howled
an irresistible duet with my brother,
in furred glory to the engorged,
engaging, brilliant moon.
2 thoughts on “Hour Fifteen, Myth”
You’ve captured that feeling of being by the fire in the desert meeting wolf spirits so well! The details create a vivid setting in which this mystical transformation is completely normal.
Desert nights can be like that.
Thanks so much for the commentary, it’s like a gift in my inbox. I’m a Nordic transplant to the desert southwest, a Viking in the desert, so it seemed natural to blend the two backgrounds’ trickster mythologies. You’re absolutely right–the desert has a nighttime magic all its own.