Tash by Brian Dahlen; for more information, visit http://crazywulf.deviantart.com/

Tash by Brian Dahlen; for more information, visit http://crazywulf.deviantart.com/

My Animal

after Ann Hamilton, the common SENSE

by Sarah Kathryn Moore


My animal with variegated furs

Can blush

Rears up and likes its hands

The weight of my animal’s claw gives rise

to protective feelings similar

to the feelings for the brother sleeping

with a cherry pit in his cheek and not choking

Hhhhhh the mouth breathes

Size and history was no object

when I found my animal

Someone had torn or eaten

a hole in my animal’s leathery wing

My animal is with me in the room but it

is blind to the cadaver

face covered by strips of cloth

feet covered in fuzzy socks

shreds of skin fat and muscle matter littering the table

My animal worries me like a cat

worries a bird

It puts its limbs around me how a man

holding a confused resigned fawn

We rip through blackberry bushes

like cobwebs on our common ground

Permeable to affect

The magnitude of sensation

Touching feeling

Rush of relief

Belly to belly

Self to self

Language only eternally

absorbs and empties content

Like a dumb saltwater sponge

But terror causes the body to tremble

A pleasurable state of mind

Unwrapping the gauze

Our body haunts space

And although my animal causes many noises

I will confine myself

To this slight sound


About Sarah Kathryn Moore

Sarah Kathryn Moore holds an MFA and a PhD from the University of Washington; her poems have appeared most recently in Poetry NorthwestPacifica Literary Review, Cutbank, Filter, and The Journal. Sarah Kate teaches literature and composition at the University of Washington and North Seattle College.