Letter to My Rabbit, After He Chewed the Baseboards

Letter to My Rabbit, After He Chewed the Baseboards – Rachel Deer-Katz
–on Wallace Stevens’ A Rabbit as King of the Ghosts

Stevens said that beneath the looming shadow
.             of a terrier pack chasing scents downhill
.                                                                                    in sight of a cat’s tail
.                                                                   curved like a question
.                                 the light that slips past them all to settle careless at your ears
.                                 is rabbit-light, in which everything is meant for you.
You must think of this
.                 when you shimmy inside the box spring
.                                 make nests of cheap wood
.                 get splinters in your pink tongue.
Did you know sometimes mother rabbits eat their young?
.                     They must know their feet aren’t always lucky
.                                                                when clutched in the claws of a hawk
.                                              carrying them across hot asphalt
.                                                               to be made into lace
.                                              by hulking semis and scavengers.
.                            You’re afraid of the steam that rolls off a pot of boiling pasta
.                            but chew through live power cords to feel electricity
vibrate through your skull
.                against your uneven teeth.
You want to be the self Stevens said you could be–
.                a self that fills the four corners of the night.
.                                                             Your mother must have spared you
.                                             when she couldn’t swallow her pride.