Saint Animal

Saint Animal

Suddenly it was clear to me —
I was something I hadn’t been before.
It was as if the animal part of my being

had reached some kind of maturity that gave it
authority, and had begun to use it.

I thought about death for two years.
My animal flailed and tore at its cage
till I let it go. I watched it

drift out into the easy eddies of twilight
and then veer off, not knowing me.

I’m not a bird but I’m inhabited by a spirit
that’s uplifting me. It’s my animal, my saint
and soldier, my flame of yearning,

come back to tell me
what it was like to be without me.

by Chase Twichell
Original Language English