DREAM WITH FOX

by Abigail Chabitnoy

I was walking up some stairs in a building

Inside parts of the building were new
but no one lived there anymore

I passed a lucky fox head on the stairs–

But fox, where are your ears and your eyes and your tongue?
where is your body, your bushy tail?

The head slunk past without stopping

If a fox crosses your path, an opportunity will be given you

so I followed it through the building to the roof
where the sky
and a woman lay dying

“I used to have a garden,’ she said

If a fox stops and looks at you your ambitions will be fulfilled

She took out her eyes and her tongue
and placed these in my hand

She took a fox tail from under her skirts
and fastened it to my spine
where it had forked

She ran her fingers over my ears
and they tickled like fur

When I looked up she didn’t have any ears
any eyes
any tongue
any tail

The head sat there
vacant in my direction

I put the fox eyes to my eyes
and I could see across the sea

I put the tongue in my pocket
and picked my way down the stairs unseen
following the smell of rising tide