after torrin a. greathouse


—here is  an  alternate  gaze at the wall:  behind it the wolves  have run out  of their  breath,  in their
fangs, a clean disaster: violence mapped into assemblage. the first lie the rabbis  to us  was:  we were
born into the true core of a largeness.  no—we were born into a revelation replaying itself with every
bloodshed,  with  every cry of  a new born—the angels of destiny  standing there,  a parcel wrapped
beneath their  lungs,  &  out,  a destiny is  breathed  into  the  child—we are  born  into  the  plot of a
mystery.  everything  about the wolves  is a daring:  a stillness inside  a violence, a  shifting  inside the
stillness, the lone flower in all of these,  blooming in the very dark of the wolvee’s howl. the lie is: the
wolves  are  bad.  in one  folklore:  the wolf  pulled  the  child  out of the river, licked  its wetness into
warmth, & took it to the village square. salvation is a common. even the devil is a true protagonist in
some other stories,  sheds  off  his  scales,  pulls  off  his horns,  &  disguises  as  a  messenger.  no, the
danger isn’t in association, but in assumption. in his book, the rabbi draws a scale,  ticks the lamb, &
Xs the wolf. in the story,  the wolf is lonely,  his clan is lonely,  & we,  of course,  writers of  wild tales,
imagined a river of blood,  the wolf emerging from it.  what  is it then  with  our histories,  our stories
preying  what  does not  fit in our  gardens?  reflect:  are we  all even not  a haunting—a hollow voice
startling  the cub  into stray?  one & two & three,  but there are not enough  bridges to bring us back
into the palace of our own truth—all the tracks end &  restart inside the rail that is our lives. here are
true  lightning  &  true  thunder  &   true  wolves—here  could  be  beauty  where  you  have  made  a
butchery.  here,  the tinker  who sleeps at night,  dreaming  of mending his  young’s souls—here, the
wolf,  at the other  end  of  the  wall,  out of breath,  deep  into a tender.  mek una  reason am:  all our
truths  lead  towards where?—the flags of their true core appearing,  disappearing to announce their
fates.  listen,  no truth is true enough.  some truths are lies pushed  off their natural  cliffs.  here’s an
alternate gaze at the wall: an alternate gaze at the world. the wolf isn’t a symbol of violence—


Nome Emeka Patrick is a Nigerian poet. His works have been published or forthcoming in POETRY, AGNI, TriQuarterly, Waxwing, West Branch, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Poet Lore, Beloit Poetry Journal, Black Warrior Review and elsewhere. A Best of the Net, Best New Poets, and Pushcart prize nominee. He emerged third place in the Frontier Poetry Award for New Poets, 2020. His manuscript We Need New Moses. Or New Luther King was a finalist for the 2019 Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets. He writes from Lagos, Nigeria. Say Hi on Twitter @nome__patrick