Back to Issue Nineteen.

bestiary: hyena



There is a circle around the fire
& inside it is where I sleep.

The dark touches the circle’s edge
& outside somewhere

the hyena is waiting. He
is hungry & he is patient.

He is a clairvoyant
bending backward, always

laughing up ghosts. At night
he calls my name & his voice

is almost human. Some day one of us
will have to die & if I am the one

then I am the one. If I am not,
I will use a spoon to dig the stone

from his eye. I will place the stone
beneath my tongue & look into the fire

& at its edge I will see nothing
& at its center I will see nothing.


Patrick Kindig is a dual MFA/PhD candidate at Indiana University. He is the author of the micro-chapbook Dry Spell (Porkbelly Press 2016), and his poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in the Beloit Poetry Journal, Willow Springs, Whiskey Island, CutBank, Bombay Gin, and other journals.

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