Ken Anderson

Late afternoon, I dressed for the weather
and went for a walk down the country lane. I wanted
to get away from the cozy life in the comfortable cabin
when I must’ve crossed some invisible line
between a sensible civilization and the unpredictable wilderness
(at least, the one inside me).

When I glanced over my shoulder, he was crouched
like a satyr near trees as if he’d been tracking me
my entire life and had finally found the perfect time
to show himself and growl— not an animal threat,
but a dangerous dare I took as a welcome chance
to shed, like clothes, the old, broken soul I was wearing.

I needed to quit the kind, timid person
I was, yield myself entirely —without fear, without qualm,
just lust, yes, willing prey— to the feral desire
of a fierce, agile predator: half beautiful young man,
half graceful gray wolf with a weird, soft coat fluttering
about his bluish, sinewy body.

I approached him curiously as I would a strange dog. Then,
as he watched, I stripped and lay on my back, legs spread,
offering myself the way I would with a wolf if I really meant to die.
In turn, he crawled on top and, arms behind my knees,
started prodding me in a steady, insistent rhythm
until he opened me and entered me and fucked me quietly
for what seemed like forever (a hushed insatiable forever)
on a sheet of crisp snow near the dark woods
with a twilight gauze of light flakes falling around us,

and as we fucked, I gazed —lips close— deep
into his luminous, ice-blue eyes,
and our breath mist mingled inseparably in the cold air
the way we connected not only physically
—trapped, raw, in each other’s arms— but also instinctively
in that endless, unrelenting stare,
which, like a fine, psychic filament, burned,
when we came, in a mindless blinding light.

Ken Anderson was a finalist in the 2001 Saints and Sinners poetry contest. New Poetry from the Festival (an anthology of the 2021/2022 winners and finalists) includes four of his poems. His poetry books are The Intense Lover: A Suite of Poems (STARbooks 1995 ) and Permanent Gardens (Seabolt Press 1972). Publications include Café Review, Coffin Bell, Dash Literary Journal, Dawntreader, Dirigible Balloon, The Journal, London Grip, Lullwater Review, Nebo, Oddball Magazine, Sangam Literary Magazine, Sein un Werden, Toho Journal, Verbal Art, Angel Rust, Gay and Lesbian Review, Mollyhouse, Rabid Oak, RFD, and Screen Door.