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Guest Poet Eugenio Rodríguez

I am an Animal

I am an animal
even when no longer
can smell the scent of life,
domesticated not by church bells
that used to toll in my hometown
or by books on the pressed-wood
shelves like my chin
or by the marbled steaks
I indulge in when there is
a lull in my dieting
or by the images that
kiss and say "I love you"
on television;
I am an animal
even when no longer wet
my dreams long forgotten,
or hunt for women as if
they were life-
women now keep me
on one side of my bed
and insist on being in the bathroom
when I need to shave;
I am just an animal
even when no longer see
the face of me without glasses;
I am an animal whose wildcat
of a father
partial to rabbits
has never been heard of
since he died,
whose wife, my
mother, since then
has made her daily routine
to die forever;
I am an animal
whose cubs appear only
on Christmas cards
and wrapping paper,
whose only lifetime wish
is the ability to pack and go
exactly where
hardly matters.
Remember all
I am an animal
and want no high-tech
physician take away from me
that last roar
with dear nurses
making sure my tubes
are tucked in
denture missing
I am an animal

July, 2001

Eugenio Rodríguez's Questions:

I write poetry in Spanish, my native language. But now and then something in English comes out.

In this poem, how does my lack of a native feel for the language show?

Can you be specific?

I don't write with punctuation because punctuation contravenes the lack of order in my life. But here punctuation is required.

Does punctuation take away from the almost-rambling effect?

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