though less often now that I’m older,
I feel like a monster, so sure am I of my
complete alienation from humanity.
It is probably a lie–I am as ordinary
as any Scotch-Irish-Dutch-German-Cherokee mutt
`round here, the same gray skin and crooked teeth
as the rest of my herd, the same weak movement.
I could make it so–become a monster,
build myself piece by piece into the stuff of old fiction,
the cauldron of story, raking the pit of my brain for ideas,
a scaly tail like a favored feather boa feels familiar.
Yes, I’d want wings too! Not the feathered froth of angels,
but real, human wings, naked with skin, alive, a maze of veins
apparent through the milky stretch, dry patches like ash-piles.
And I could move them–that’s how far we’ve come.
I could roil my tail along the floor or aloft,
shaking it with fury and passion, an imposing figure
to be sure, behinded by such a monolith,
though nothing compared to the unfurling
of my massive wings, the misplaced rib bones
and sculpted artificial kelson, pressed with ass flesh,
no doubt, it’s always ass flesh,
some malleable magic in those fatty mounds.
I couldn’t fly, of course; that’s just going too far.
No science to support it–too much weight for wingspan,
marrowed bone-veins, a defiance of natural law.
Limbs can be mapped; attach a tail and a tiny tail-shaped
portion of the brain lights up, a festive tinkling as
tiny neural connections stitch out the path to adaptation.
To live my alienation, instead of the cheap imitation
we call feeling–that is behind the desire for wings,
my want of a tail or coral horns, grown ever larger
as my magnificently ordinary brain connects with primordial
substance, something ancient in me recognizing
and integrating, creating, propelling my own evolution,
playing my own god; illuminating the dark cowardice of my
own frail human form, etched in relief on the floor of my brain.
Note: National Poetry Month ends today. In commemoration, and especially for Sherry NC, P & L is publishing poetry all day. This piece is an Anna Belle original, circa 2004.