The Wolves and the Crucifix

Keith Haring’s wolves


The Wolves and the Crucifix


Based on Keith Haring’s “Suite of Five Prints,”—(“Two Animal Images Falling/Jumping”; “Two Figures with Crucifix”), screenprint on paper, 1982.


The wolves keep coming to my door,gateway review.jpeg
they keep coming. Today
they hold a cross like a trophy.
Ink drips from their paws
onto the cross.

I don’t know what went wrong,
how it all happened. They asked
for so little—for the drawn lines
to merge over their heads,
a sky to appear,
some earth to support them.

They ran around in circles,
they bit each other’s tails.
I gave them the sky and the earth.
I let them grow bigger
than what I could see in myself.
Their black frames stumbled
and fell on white ground.

How could I have known
that a day would come
when they stretch their limbs
and walk on two legs?
How could I have known
that the white space within them
would grow large enough to resound?

I only saw their open mouths.
I only knew that they howled.


First published in The Gateway Review: A Journal of Magical Realism, Volume 4, Issue 1, Winter 2018 (print edition only)

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