Matthew,

The fox of me is a mercurial and self-indulgent creature with reddish-yellow hair and gold eyes.  Obstinate. I want to paint new red over the old red of a barn. I play the violin very badly.

Inside the barn will be many rusty hooks and wires, although swept mostly clean.  The floor is dirt and above, in the loft, is some remaining hay and a transistor radio that is cracked and yellow plastic.

There's an alley that I stand in sometimes, for long stretches of time, certain something of Clyde's is hiding there.  The quickly-passing opportunities that fly by my window at night make me sad. I think maybe all people are cruel.

I cannot be held, or hold myself, in the form of a fox for very long, unless I'm with you.  I teased Bonnie about it this morning, but I don't think she liked it. Your fox has shadows of gray around the face and back, and a flag of white at the end of your tail.  You have thin legs and your eyes are the color of a harvest moon rising through the smoke of a fire.

We go out together in the cold, you in your black coat and me in my red one.  I have very little white, but mostly brown or yellow, excepting always the flag on my tail.  Our breath puffs fog ahead of us, as we go out into the night. Sometimes we walk. The first night I walked with you, you walked easy beside me, and when a car drove close or someone passed, before disappearing out of town, you would stop, and recede somehow, into the gray of unnoticed space.  Somehow, when you pulled me after you, I found your hand in mine, and you kept it there.

Your fox is shy and somewhat ragged of fur, lean and starving, and apt to bite.  Your fox pulls the laces from shoes. Your fox paints his nails very badly. His eyes level looks at me as if to say, "The whole world wants us dead."

It's important that it's cold, for one is often a fox moreso in the winter.  The fog of your breath and the way you shy from spotlights means we run, sidelong, toward shadows and places beneath.  It's a good night if no one looks at us, at all. I feel it in the flaking off of your undercoat, your soft brush that all could be silent as if we were made of what quiets the snow.

I used to tell people that ash is what a dragon understands about the snow, but I have a wild name behind my teeth that means I am sometimes only that which paints the snow cherry slush-colored and somehow...wanting.  Am I only, sometimes, ash on a burned plain, or blood on a battlefield? I don't know if foxes can be soldiers at all, because in the cold...they will den down and vanish.

A fox might be something terrified. A fox might be made to live at the fringe of a thought itself. It might be a way to cry. I know mine can hold yours, when there are no lights but reflected snow off Bitter winds.

Love,

Evelyn

Comment