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.