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Life on the Inside

Es­capril 2019
Prompt: not from your per­spec­tive


I stare at the sky through dirty glass with bru­tal equa­nim­ity
As I lie limp in the grass hairy-​naked miss­ing my fam­ily.
I don’t feel ha­tred or self-​pity like the rest of the chimps.
For I have cre­ated in cap­tiv­ity mean­ing, a des­tiny glimpse
In the clouds through un­washed win­dows.

There’s sense to lodge com­plaint.
Med­ical test­ing,
Cos­metic re­search,
Chem­i­cal re­straint,
Keep­ing us in metal cages.
Ig­nore our cry­ing and bang­ing rages;
Think us more as beasts when we rebel.
It’s true, of my kind I have it well.
You pay for tick­ets, to my zoo you go,
To stare and point at us,
A sta­tion­ary min­strel show
Where we’re thought of as
Happy-​go-lucky lounge­abouts,
Be­cause we lack your shame and neu­roti­cism,
Your lan­guage and your pu­ri­tanism.

But I don’t re­buke for what you do.
For our speech of the body is strange to you,
And when I make your girls gig­gle through the glass,
When you show me phone pic­tures while I sit in the grass,
I see that you have good hearts.
You broke my fam­ily apart,
But I know we can still, when we are cap­tured,
Stare at the clouds and be en­rap­tured.