Javelina (Tayassu tajacu) also known as collared peccary, are medium-sized animals that look similar to a wild boar. They have mainly short coarse salt and pepper colored hair, short legs, and a pig-like nose.
—Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
Chomping prickly pear, cholla spines
in ripping kisses, you clop earth
with your hooves’ tender bells.
Sauntering campgrounds, your snout
delights at the dirt’s pungent nest
when dawn splits through mesas.
I love your humid musk, your crescent moon
circling your neck, your rage snarling
with teeth that could tear my tendons.
Rain gorges the ground, creosote
perfumes laughing toads when you funnel
the world’s voluptuous juices
into your mouth, your joy buoyant
as coconuts. I take your picture
and wave goodbye, my hooved love,
huffing hedgehog, silver jackfruit,
mesquite marauder, milking the plunder
of nopal. Alone, nightly in bed,
I conjure your oval bulk and taste
your absence in the dark, grieving
that wild javelinas live no longer
than ten years and you might have died.
Your bread loaf shape leaps naked
in the wind, so happy, and free.
The Immanence of God
Harvester ants boiled from red mounds
like witches’ venomous breasts.
Texas pastures plumed bluebonnets
to the back of Grandpa’s land, a creek bed
where water moccasins opened
the fatal flowers of their mouths.
The thicket guarded an enchanted kingdom.
Ogres and dragons lumbered
past chicken coops, the shed we saw
through briars clearly inhabited
by green gnomes with juniper beards.
Thorns jammed the jade-leaved threshold
to the other world. Gnat-clogged skies,
earth lubed with snails wouldn’t satisfy
our lust for fantasy. Later I realized
specks of dust are planets whirring
in shafts of light, those trees weren’t borders
to the sublime but the sublime itself.
Wild plums blister sweetness
on the only world where love is real.
My cheeks billow yellow sacks
with words creaking like the shed door
the old man opens to my world.
The pond’s nectar of minnows, clumps
of cow paddies, skies blue as damselflies
light earth’s smelly circle. The old man
slashes grass, riding a red metal horse
that snarls gasoline anger.
I mushroom myself with air
to frighten water snakes
and bleat wet warnings to other males
this liquid acre is my nation.
Goats in the west pasture don’t know
what I am, the neighbor’s boys
ignore my heart shaped body
pluming in a green stew
to new ponds over the barbed wire.
Youths romp innocent as wild grapes
through mesquite thickets, playing chase
with sticks, dreaming human dreams.
Children grow tall with sorrows
weeping in hot buffalo grass, crisp fields
beyond my water which must be cruel.
Angry fathers have ripe red faces.
Their country is wide, yet they’re not free.
Eric Fisher Stone lives in Fort Worth, Texas. He received his MFA in creative writing and the environment from Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. His poems have appeared in many journals, and his first full length poetry collection, The Providence of Grass was published in 2018 by Chatter House Press. His second poetry collection, Animal Joy is forthcoming from WordTech Editions in 2021. He now works as a writing tutor at Tarrant County College, Northwest Campus.