Can this animal flesh really be me
As you, for reasons you scarce understand
Cuff my wrists and yanking fiercely my hands
Arrange me into a pose of slavery?
Can this thing be me, bashed like those
Who in Rome or Thrace were chained or whipped
Their faces slapped, backs bleeding red fingertips
Whipping pose, a beating in those ancient clothes?
Why do I wear this nakedness first
Stolen from lost cities of bronze and mud
Language of Gods or of golden blood
As if such ritual would slake my thirst?
Subhuman creep, I creep like a primordial bug
Dug mistaken from a deathly place
Half-human insect, half-person face
Lugging my bug shell from place to place.
O look not on me! I am hideous, formed of old,
Old time. I twist, I shake, I make myself and I
Die endlessly across the ages, just to die
Born to scream, die my death, my death to behold!
You chatter away, as I saw Rome sacked
I am that slave still creeping away from me
Creeping into chains though utterly free
Chained again for our contemptible pact!
Not so easy, as cowering before you, and real
You see me broken, your spit on my face
You see it, you do! You witness me in this place,
This cloak of nakedness you so fondly feel.
So yes, I am that animal, that flesh is me!
You try to help, but the old signs burn me,
Cruel cuffs and cigarette burns returning
This theatre to reality.