Building Your Animal

Jonathan Aprea

It is overwhelming at first
because you do not know
what to do with it—coming into
the dark like a laughing
and encourageable person. But still

you would like it to be part of who you are.
Underneath your shirt where it is
closest to your skin, or in time,
if all of this comes together, then tangled
underneath one of your most important organs.

Every day that you remember
you feed it something small,
during transportation or at work,
or through the delicate circle of cage

in the darkness of your home,
where you are trying to decide
if you are as strong as you think.