on the page magazine

issue no. 9, winter 2002–2003



by Erik Leavitt

In the hours before the sun set behind Arthur's Seat
and the lowland sky unclouded in long braids,
I watched my landlord's mother,
white-haired from her son's last arrest,
carry a bowl of kitchen scraps
two-handed into the back yard.

And I could see the fox
parting the scalpels of field grass,
then rounding the unpainted fence slats,
razoring his eyes to the bowl of marrow
and beef ends like any other prey.
He lifted each piece of meat gently
as a child's finger between his teeth.

I looked on long after he finished the meal,
the ragged lines of his tail
disappearing into the scares of ragweed.
Back in my apartment,
the sixty-watt bulb swung on its chain
and a life time of Pall Malls
fingernailed the wallpaper.

The evening storms came with the darkness
and I waited for sleep on a bare mattress.
my breath misting in thin hairs.
In the cold, night promised dreams of blankets,
wool gloves, and bowls of tender beef
warm in my cracked hands.

Erik Leavitt is a graduate of Macalester College with degrees in English and classics. Currently he works as a night auditor in Duluth, Minnesota.

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