the museum of americana

a literary review

Two Poems by Alyse Knorr

Wolf Tours Day Two

The clients already exhausted, yet peering
in the mirror in hopes of yellowed eyes.
They snarl up their lips to check for
sharper canines. Their awareness ranges
from praise to honor to fetish to guilt—
the best measurement not the outtake
exam but the Gift Shop receipts. There
are rugs and there are corpses. Nothing
in between. But today, as the clients gaze
back at the glass, their transfiguration of
doubt becomes a new faith unto itself.
The wolves marvel apart at these predictable
epiphanies. They float so high above Earth
that Earth seems a runaway ball bearing.

 

 

*

 

 

Wolf Tours Day Five

           Footsore and cranky the clients
finally arrive at the picture from the pamphlet:
           a vast secret wolf vista

           where all seems suddenly clearer.
Sorrow, it seems, was never the problem;
           sorrow was the answer.

           The clients feel like Cheryl
Strayed or Elizabeth Gilbert or both, for
           they have Found Themselves,

           found what was worth the money.
Apart, mouths open to better smell the vista,
           the wolves oscillate between

           pity and envy. One of the clients
has begun to cry over the lack of cell service.
           She wants to call her daughter

           and share in the epiphany.
Tell us instead, the wolves deflect. Let us be
           your daughters. Show us,

           tell us again how much
you love us, how long you waited for us

           your whole entire life.

 
 

~~~
Alyse Knorr is an assistant professor of English at Regis University and co-editor of Switchback Books. Her most recent book of poems, Mega-City Redux, won the 2016 Green Mountains Review Poetry Prize, selected by Olena Kalytiak Davis. She is also the author of two other poetry collections, a non-fiction book, and three poetry chapbooks. Her work has appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Denver Quarterly, The Cincinnati Review, and The Greensboro Review, among others.