Being a Poet

Have you ever read a poem

And felt something claw up from inside 

Your rib bones? 

Pulse quickened, breath shortened?

As if you had pulled the left lung over 

Top of your beating, bloody muscle

Until your worried skin could not 

Hold it in any longer?

Poetry reminds me that I am an animal,

-Flesh and bone and blood-

But also that I am not animalistic.

It is no wonder animals show 

gratitude to people and other animals:

They seek and adore companionship,

Relish play time and a hearty meal-

They live for pleasure without pain or fear of suffering. 

But people are different-

They pull their own hearts out

For no sake but to give to another-

It is not enough to be or show  

what animals are in this world-

Loyal-compassionate-lusting-honest-

No.

People try to one-up the rest of specieskind

By creating poetry- 

By giving our love to one another

Without a hint of self-preservation, 

As any poet knows, writing 

Brings both delight and extreme pain

For the sake of emptying oneself,

and filling up others. 

There is nothing quite like being human-

And absolutely nothing like being a Poet.

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