Today I watched sparrows
in my yard leaving when I opened
the window above them.
An unfamiliar dog on a leash
on the sidewalk stopped short and stared at me
without moving his tail.
A new-to-the-neighborhood cat
crouched in my yard well away from me
and then fled when I tried to get near.
All this happened
because I am human;
the creatures saw me and knew
what I was capable of; although
I was personally no threat to them,
they took no chances.
Tonight I shall tie myself into a knot in a vein
in my forever aching dreamtime head
and become a tangle of pulse
thinking of how we all
have become monsters in other beings’
sight, how we’ve come to that place
by the efforts of an entire history
of sometimes casual
and sometimes times earnest cruelty and
indifference, and how tantalizing
it is to consider moving to the next world,
where we might reconcile with these others;
where if we do not, at least we may receive there
some grace for trying to ease the terror
we create by being in this world.