in the tobacco barn
I sort stalks all night
itching     sand up to my ankles
your blue truck roars
in at midnight
you bring fox babies
their paws dark and shapely
eyes little black seeds
stuck in red fur
I dig a burrow in the yellow sand
and roll them in

after a kiss
a listless squeeze
you blaze away
back to the wife
the bright-haired kids
choices you made long ago

at dawn
three men come hunting you
they squat and poke
cracked fingers in the sand
they tell me you have
let the foxes loose again
they tell of coming
around a bend at dusk
and seeing the foxes
trotting behind you
away from the cages
that line their farm
as they speak
their eyes are flat
and blue as chicory
run over on a roadbed

I remember turning
to you on a bed
with a stained canopy
I think of you rising
from the streaming creek
the hairs on your body
pressed down black and slick

I give them
the little foxes
they are light as I lift them
their eyes wet and rimmed
with sand grains     they pant
as they leave me

I press my hands
to my face and smell
tobacco and wild fur