I stopped being interested
in the human a long time ago.
Only the patterns still entertain me,
long lines of red and white lights
pouring down Brooklyn bridge,
or the little grey paint marks
of hundreds of feet moving across the lino.
The great violence is not something
I can choose to abscond from,
though when I was a child,
I wished that I could become a crow,
so as to not share a species with the
purveyors of terrible crimes.
Now I know that wish is not possible,
that however troubling, deep down each thing
wants to perpetuate the thing it is,
to go on, crow-like, tiger-like, woman-like.
I know I could never trick myself into black wings,
the sky a big wound that I tear into, making
I do watch them though, their pencil lines in the air,
their soft, ungraspable intelligence,
so as to humble myself.
I put down my coffee, and stand closer to the window,
considering what my being
might place as an offering on the stone altar of the world.
Rebecca Tamás’s books include the poetry collection “Witch” (Penned in the Margins) and “Strangers: Essays on the Human and Nonhuman” (Makina Books). She is a senior lecturer in creative writing at York St John University
This article appears in the 08 Jun 2022 issue of the New Statesman, Marked Man