The queen of the forest stood ready to fight,
with pine dust glowing gold on her cheeks;
she spit out loamy blood and
lifted her hands. Her knuckles were
wrapped in orange newts,
whose soft tangerine bodies
burst and pulped with every blow.
She pivoted through tree trunks and brooks,
swung her boreal hips with a crack, a groan, an owl's soft elegy.
That right hook did her endless mothers proud,
rippling with sleek stoat muscle all the way up her arm,
all the way to her furious heart.
What a woman! they shouted admiringly,
feeding her into the sawmills.
Natasha King is a Vietnamese American writer and nature enthusiast. Her poetry has appeared in Okay Donkey, Ninth Letter, Strange Horizons, Best of the Net, and others. In her spare time she enjoys reading, prowling, and thinking about the ocean. She can be found on Twitter at @pelagic_natasha.