For Jim Allen who owns the gift and knows its powers
I can’t believe she’d want to give it up.
Bad vibes, she said. Too dark.
Or some such nonsense. I think power.
The dancer with the cunning tongue
mesmerizing rattlers, toads and puma alike.
I picture him totally out of control
frothing at the mouth
his goatee flecked with spit
smacking his lips and licking his gums
out of reach
ready to snatch away
No wonder Zuni
treasure tales of his treachery
why he’s mascot to despair.
Bobbing and weaving he circles
all eyes follow
he’s been known to tease, to change his shape, disappear
there are those who’ve seen him dining at the finest tables
blessed by the most elaborate churches.
My neighbor recounts the time in the desert
when she waited to be rescued from the cold and Coyote took her
to his den
fed her a meal of free-range hen
then mounted her
turning loose a tantalizing truth she’d been forced to hide for years.
Did I say
he holds the lever
turns it at his pleasure
YIP-YIP-YIP CO – YO – TE!