Trillium

the animal in me

is constant.

 

thirst starts,

hunger answers.

 

sleep is uncertain,

restless limbs.

 

in the night,

I hear footsteps.

 

warnings appear,

all signs say death.

 

still I crave

cigarettes, coffee.

 

exhaustion brings

repetition, life cycles.

 

cold follows me,

something waits.

 

telegraphs move faster

than my heart.

 

I stay primitive,

gestate in trilliums.

 

when the hunter

finds me, separate

 

I turn toward the blow,

bleat into sacrifice.

 

domesticated prey,

still wild enough to leap

 

against my instinct,

find my predatory drive

 

and tear the throat out

of what chases me.

Gwen Benaway, “Trillium” from Passage. Copyright © 2016 by Gwen Benaway. Reprinted by permission of Kegedonce Press.

Source: Passage (Kegedonce Press, 2016)