You’re the Animal

Who rattles the cage. Who rocks the boat.
Whose hands want to handle. Whose mind
Wants to soap. You were mapped
On the same broad design as the shark.
Where you swallow, she gills. Your nerves
Share a spark’s long fuse, like a cartoon
Rope to a bomb. You were cells before
Head, not unlike a worm. You’re a blob,
You’re a tube, whorled into fractals.
You’ve got fingers. Big deal. Just as easily
Talons. Everything’s got something
That’s almost a spine. A human’s
Complex. Whatever. That’s fine.
Built to weep and to whoop.
But–why; for how long?
Go on. Abstract like a labyrinth,
You’ll dissolve like a song—

Mara Jebsen teaches writing at New York University and has published poems in Sixth Finch, The American Poetry Review, jubilat, and elsewhere. She is based in Brooklyn.

Appears In

Issue 15

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