This Could Be a Starting Place

Coyotes are turning nocturnal,
the news says, to avoid humans.
& Elephants are. & Tigers are. & —
I get it. God, I can’t say I don’t
get it. We ravage & we ravage.
If the monks are right, we do it
to ourselves in ourselves, first.
I know how to want so much
it makes my teeth hurt. I know
how to get what I want & still
feel it a thousand stones’ throws
away. God, an every day quiet
would be a gift. In meditation,
all I hear today are animal cries
slowly moving to a new season,
& the work is to not follow after,
the work is to stay put & find
the work that might make
the homes inside us habitable.





Ruth Baumann is the author of Parse, forthcoming from Black Lawrence Press in 2018. She is also the author of four chapbooks: A Thousand Ars Poeticas (Sixth Finch, forthcoming 2018), Retribution Binary (Black Lawrence Press, 2017), wildcold (Slash Pines Press, 2016) & I’ll Love You Forever & Other Temporary Valentines (Salt Hill, 2015).







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