Boy isn’t used to rejection.
He’s not used to pretty girls telling him no.
Not this time. Not ever.
Boy is used to picking and choosing
wild fruit and supping them of all their juices.
For boy to be told no is a strange
and mortifying experience.
In the back, behind boy’s three storey
white clapboard house, lives his father’s old Wolfdog.
It doesn’t own a name, it hardly owns its fur.
Wolfdog had been a novelty as a pup,
a confident animal, ears fashioned like arrows,
and brilliant, flame blue eyes.
Now, Wolfdog barely moves.
Boy decides to kill Wolfdog,
to give himself an extra edge.
Wolfdog doesn’t twitch when boy
enters his enclosure, when he gathers
him up and holds him close, like a scar.
Wolfdog doesn’t make a sound as boy brings
his mother’s best kitchen knife across his old throat.
Boy is bad at killing. It takes him minutes not seconds
to sever Wolfdog’s head from his neck.
Boy whistles as he washes blood
from his hands and forearms.
Boy’s father is silent when he finds the enclosure open,
and buries Wolfdog without a word.
Next morning, Wolfdog is waiting,
a chocker of maggots around its throat.
Everywhere boy goes, Wolfdog follows.
Wolfdog gets stronger by the hour.
Boy can feel Wolfdog’s pulse through the soles of his feet.
At night, boy is the only one to hear Wolfdog howl.
Boy’s mind quickly collapses, while Wolfdog
sits back on his haunches and watches.