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-
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.