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  • Writer's pictureSusanna Lang

I, Beast

Updated: Jul 24, 2019

child’s drawing on birch-bark, ca. 1260 



I, beast, carry the blind moon on my back,

copper coin with the sheen worn off

and the face hammered out of it.

I go by the old rutted roads.


A boy dreamed me, four backward feet 

and a curly tail, when he wasn’t dreaming battles,

himself victorious against all enemies.

But I outlived him.


I, beast, enter the stories you remember

as if they were inns by the side of the road, 

the sheets turned down for me.  

At times I walk upright in a mask and coat.


Now the boy is gone; the blood moon weighs

heavy, its bag worn and fraying at the seams.

I am afraid it will slip back into its place

above the trees, while I must keep to my road.



First published in North American Review and then in Travel Notes from the

River Styx (available from Terrapin Books and from Amazon).


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