Alyse Knorr

WOLF TOURS: Hunting Lesson

You will feel           not terror
as you imagine           or grief

but curiosity           as when
the sheet lightning           strobed

the sky           over the prairie
and was curious           as you

were           to go 30 years
before           seeing something

new           now to be
spared           the shame of

weeping           sculpted to
a flower           always pointing

south           the bones always
set           to break           curious

how an ending           can feel
like a season           like a meal




In the morning they recite the names
of their ancestors; in the evening,
poetry. They long for a rabid audience,
employ many sounds but confess
nothing. Inevitability is not order, Rodney
the tour guide reads, but the only words
she knows in their tongue are BOOKS
THANK BOOKS and she cannot fathom
the lack of applause. She forgets
this is a demonstration of masks, a series
of self-full actions, a ritual burning
of all previous memories. Rodney
has wrestled with Scarlet until late
in the night, has released her apologies
on tiny paper boats. And still her
wildness lingers, like a curse or else a gift.



Alyse Knorr is a queer poet and assistant professor of English at Regis University. She is the author of three poetry collections, a non-fiction book, and three poetry chapbooks. Her work has appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Denver Quarterly, Columbia Poetry Review, The Greensboro Review, and ZYZZYVA, among many others. She is a co-editor of Switchback Books.