Becoming an Animal

 by Erin York

A psychologist may inform you that Man
Cannot forget to speak, but as the days between
Us have grown to weeks, I will tell you—
Or try to—that your psychologist is wrong.

Formulate a question.
Articulate emotion.
Respond. Please.
Say something.

Okay, I am in a cage.
My walls feel slippery
And concrete.
No climbing them,
No breaking free.
I suppose I could attempt
A jail break-out,
But here, I can pretend
To be an animal,
Concerned with base needs.

Do not ask me to be logical
Because I would retreat,
Even further.
As it is, I can drift
And bump into my walls
Without feeling anything,
Not even the bruised parts.
Numbness is nice
And needs no words.

Say I love you.
Say you’ll stay.
Tell me you won’t leave.
Tell me you’re mine.

But I am an animal.
I have forgotten how to speak.
Weren’t you listening?

About Erin York

Erin York is a 22-year-old writer and editor. She attended school at the University of Missouri-Kansas City where she graduated with a B.A. in Creative Writing and a minor in Manuscript, Print Culture, and Editing. Her writing has received both numerous publications and awards that include national acclaim. Aside from writing, Erin has worked on several literary magazines and continues to work as a freelance copyeditor. For more information, visit her website: