You call me animal
but I am not your predator.
You bear your teeth to me
but I cannot see past your smile.
You are nocturnal, like all hunters
of fame, yet your eyes are domesticated.
Your ears are attuned to the sounds
of warm-blooded noises and
North America means nothing
on your map. You wear your hair
with feathers, eagle feathers and
heron feathers. Your skin is worn
like the flesh of black-breasted seals,
roaming the white-capped waves
for any sign of intelligence. You call
me animal but I was once aquatic.
I knew nothing of flies or the wild, edible,
fasting which your saints find so attractive.
I gave birth and I was alive.
George Cassidy Payne is a poet from Rochester, NY. His work has been included in such publications as the Hazmat Review, Moria Poetry Journal, Chronogram Journal, Ampersand Literary Review, The Angle at St. John Fisher College, and 3:16 Journal. George’s blogs, essays and letters have appeared in USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Havana Times, South China Morning Post, The Buffalo News, and more.
See all his poems on Tea House here.