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Shenan Hahn


(On First Hearing Howlin' Wolf)

It's supernatural, that sound, the way
one minute you're an innocent, all curls
and creases, gentle hips that only sway
in time to sweeter soul, tunes smooth like swirls
of coffee, notes sipped purposely and stirred
in perfect time—then from the radio
you hear that growl, that jagged howl that lured
Chicago from the cold. It starts to grow
in you: beneath those skirts and ribbons hides
a wolf, all deep and dangerous and fine,
beneath the blouses that unbutton, slides
of skin caressed in car beds, not resigned
this time but grinning, smoldering like coal,
when just that spoonful satisfies your soul.

Midnight Movie

Imagine that first scream: before Fay Wray,
before the queens of Halloween, The Blob,
the jazzy giallo chases, and the Day—
or many Days—the Dead rose up to mob—

there's a caveguy by a fire, who on a whim
says, “Out there is a killer mastodon,
who used to be a man like you, or him...”
and boom, the horror tale is born, its spawn

of bloody hoopla letting people tempt
the dread of what's beyond that blaze, assured
in sticky popcorn safety as the reels
are flickering, as if we'd somehow dreamt
ourselves new flesh, its monstrousness a lurid
form caressed in grisly circus zeal

until we exit and the casualties
and killers we'd become are shrugged away,
or melt as we remember sunlight, moan
again, more distantly, at memories
of narrow odds we overcame to slay
the mastodon to a filet mignon.

©2010 by Shenan Hahn

Shenan Hahn is a poet born and raised in Virginia, currently living in the town of Arlington with her boyfriend and two cats. She is a research analyst by day, and is pursuing her masters degree in creative writing from Johns Hopkins University by night (hopefully to graduate in December of 2010). This is her first literary publication. When not writing poetry, she enjoys cooking, photography, fine brews, and wilderness adventures.

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