By Howie Good
I didn’t find what I expected, musk or ostrich plumes or ivory, only a room in a forlorn mansion where I paced and muttered through curiously long nights, caravans of the lost forming beneath the windows and a flesh-covered dictionary open on my desk.
Somewhere there’s a picture of me with a different face. Why force a giraffe into a flower pot? I keep thinking. I pass a sixth day in bed gnawing my side, but otherwise alone. The gods respond to questions only in the summer when all the windows are open.
Along the dark riverbank, moans and shrieks, and nobody with whom to exchange heartbroken glances.
(Today’s poem originally appeared in Issue 2 of the Stone Highway Review and appears here today with permission from the poet.)
Howie Good, a journalism professor at SUNY New Paltz, is the author of the new poetry collection, Dreaming in Red, from Right Hand Pointing. All proceeds from the sale of the book go to a crisis center, which you can read about here.
Editor’s Note: Today’s poem is an exploration of the human animal. Of what it is to be civilized, to be domesticated, to be caged. And of the loneliness and singularity inherent in the human condition. The consequences of awareness that other animals do not grapple with. The advanced intelligence that causes one to contemplate the idea that “Somewhere there’s a picture of me with a different face.”