there are two things living here
first, there is the physical pain-
this wolf who wears man-clothes
he’s all matted hair and stench.

this wolf comes to my door
and lets himself in
sometimes with dawn’s first light-
greedy and insistent.

pain locks dull teeth into my neck
and if he’s feeling frisky
digs his chipped claws in my eyes
so that everywhere I go
he is all I can see.

sometimes, pain is not so bad
and I carry him through supermarkets
like no big deal.

There are starfish that replicate
when an arm, which was severed,
grows longer, larger
becoming its own starfish.

the second thing living here
is my jumble of thoughts, the:
this-won’t-end and
how-did-this-happen and
when-will-it-stop and
what-did-i-do and

like the broken starfish

soon there are two wholes-
the wolf has a comrade,
perhaps meaner than its maker.

the second thing grows stronger and
I, like a doting mother
can’t seem to stop feeding it-
my anxious thoughts popping like boiling water.

the second thing roams the halls of my home,
pulling pictures from the wall, smashing things
while the wolf sits cozy by the fire,
his feet up on an ottoman.

I fear we will grow old together.

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