On the Brink | Tonya Suther

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Tonya Suther is a two-time recipient of the Ruth Scott Poetry Award sponsored by the Academy of American Poets (Poets.org). Her poetry has appeared in Westward Quarterly and Fleas on the Dog, with works forthcoming from Zócalo Public Square and The Awakenings Review. She is currently a third-year graduate assistant at New Mexico State University teaching undergraduate English courses. She interns at Zoeglossia.


That Coyote

turned and looked at me.
Steely eyes and bushy tail,
every inch of him was on this trail

where I sometimes walk,
through stones and thick brush
heated jackrabbits or not.

Then, I heard this jackal-like yelp.
It sounded like he spoke to me.
I felt a thousand promises run right through me.

The warm wind was at his back.
Whiffs of aloe vera, blue palo verde and pine,
but I didn’t flinch. I only mesmerized and reached for his underbelly.
It felt like spring or fallen leaves.

Could I put him on a leash?
Stroll some Sunday through the park?
Those hindquarters were meant to stalk.

I shook his gaze. Shuddered in this release.