Night Hunt

Under the night’s maw the boar waits

heaving black and bristled breath, night

roils down the hillsides in heat spirals

collecting in omnivorous dark the hours’

end buffing night sounds and bating

the mind’s early stillness. The ironwoods

bend and whimper about bristling

haunches rooting bristling roots of red

clay white tusks between the shoulder

blades of dogs behind a man borne down

on scent wide across his broad back

bulk of night cool on his thick neck

            Nascent light—here none—

but the purpled hour like the dogs’ deep

colored tongues still wet tremulous

the boar still thrashing in the precipice

raw gnarl of the tree vine and red flower

the island’s gashes go boiling down

its sides ashen-barked volcanic trees

the boar barrels through the girls

set on him their chorus of yells strains

through the dark I wait the girls’

shouts into the terse dawn the dark

tree-throats relinquish the yawing

clamor at the yellow dawn and light

discerns the long ocean’s sweep.