The Hunt

After Jamie McKendrick

More deadly than how mad dogs would madden,

all day heaving the body of lesser prey against

our hind legs and begging for scraps. Still,

we shouted loud; not hearing each other but

the damp of the moss and our bright, tired

heaving like the dogs, already mad

for the backs of rooftops and smoking

stacks. As though we knew how thick

the trees could turn before killing

the sounds; thought nothing of the bogs

and green ponds, the lesser bodies

beside our own dogs and their hunger

for each other. We chased meat that we could

bite and kill and eat, marbled, raw, not looking

at the other’s mouth — so alight and hoarse

from this heft. What is God, but a day spent

hunting? To think that dogs, being dogs,

might run themselves out of these woods, only

shout when shouted at by other dead-set,

little dogs in their madnesses; how, to pray

might be to blaze, to beg loudly for flesh.

PoetAnnie Fan, Rugby

Annie Fan reads law at the University of Oxford, where they are President of the Poetry Society. They won the Young Person’s Prize at Ledbury Poetry Festival, the Felix Dennis Prize at Stratford Literary Festival, and Lancaster University’s fiction prize in 2018. Their work has been broadcast by BBC Radio 3 and appears, or will appear, in PN Review, Poetry London, and Ambit. Currently, they are a shadow trustee at MPT.