A Caged Thing Feed / Naturalist

A Caged Thing Feed

Your mouth slips out a sound, a sound of the world
dying and reborn again,
an utterance of expanding space, time, sound flinging
out of your warm

fleshy mouth, out from your pink oyster mushroom lips
and for a second,
with your back burning white in the afternoon sun, you
become an arctic fox

rolled over a damp mossy log. Your paw-hands dressed
in skin stretch along
my many grooves like a spill, round red knuckles
flushing pale at the grip.

The unfathomable patience we commit to, to prolong
this shared annihilation,
to remain inside the brink. I will take my time with you
— trace your temples,

your chest, every palm crease, the constellation formed
inside your spine’s bow,
the cool flint of your ankles. Through an open window,
in the sun’s fullness,

a wasp sneaks in — dusting shadows over your nose
bridge, while our bedsheets
knot themselves up. Here, I can hear your animal heart:
bang bang boom.


I check if my head is still attached to my neck —
if my heart still beats, if any teeth have let

go, unfastened from sockets, ground to powder,
fusion of rapture and ache in equal measure;

first comes sting, bliss soon after, eyes roaming
the cryptic dark of a just-surfaced fantasy.

Below, Ginuwine’s Pony mounts the subwoofer,
chip shop vinegar cartwheels up the stairs.

I feel like I’ve been initiated into new territories,
like I could dip my fingers in the odd blotch

staining the mattress and paint myself with it —
bound through the village a howling thing.

A robin chimes outside. I see her bright red breast.
The thumping heart of a young, naked, ash tree.