by Helen Dring

She wanted wolf cubs.

Not kittens,

not husky pups

given as infant gifts with

red bows around their scraggy necks.

No, she wanted wolf cubs.

Even when it grew to

pace the length of her hallway -

proud as men -

she could not love it.

What she wanted was a wolf -

fresh from the womb

and newly vicious.

She wanted baby tongues

rough against her face as she fed them,

not a puppy and a dog bowl.

He ripped the skin from her shoulders,

clawed imprints into her hip,

bit her lip without sympathy.

She mewed against his chest

and whispered a secret, desperate plea

for a wolf cub that would hurt the way he did.