They seem to have settled
their differences. All colors,
painted, pain, all species huddled in
the cameraderie of spite and anger.
The leopards strut with
the toucans in the streets carrying
calm, sharp vengeance
at the doors of the steel,
tall, and strong city quarantine gates.
Some hover, surrounding. Some come in,
some kill, some are killed. Some make trades with us.
Some of us escape. But it's only a matter of time before
the batallions breach the walls the way they could've
broken the walls at Vicksburg, or Leningrad, any favored second.
But the animals made an equally effective choice.
We can't blame ourselves. We couldn't have assumed
the Army of Animals could ever come so far.
In their spite, in their differences, their necessity
to survive without us. To survive in spite of us.
They make noises. Chirps and caws,
tweeds and howls accompany every small
rationed meal in our high apartments.
Atop long, concrete poles
like frightened apes in our tall treehouses
overlooking over the canopy and thinking
in our shrinking and sharpening
human world of sex and madness and felt
our septic tank time bomb. They observe us
from the inside. They'll take their time with us. They make noise.
Could we have made noise? If we had more time?
What else could we have suckled from the Earth before we lost it?
Were we playing games the whole time?
Could we have seen what we were destroying?
Can we hold ourselves accountable for making
such enemies of ourselves? For letting
our consciousness lead us, and our consciences pay with only
damage? Only paralysis? Guilt?
Could we have made
Is our desperate need
ourselves and others
trying to understand
by way of imitation?
So? So? SO?!
We're all about to die, very soon,
and very painfully. So choose
to DO something with the rationed
time you have left. You don't have--
Don't have what? Time?
Why should I adjust my philosophy
because of my proximity to death?
I never had time. Nobody ever had time.
Maybe I'm choosing to sit and ask questions
because I feel they're important. And if you should judge me
then musn't you too be an animal?
Fool in your waste. Fool in submission.
They're outside for you. The animals are coming.
The animals are coming.
for Scout Finch