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Animal Enough / Enough, Animal

By: Elaine Mei

Art by: Shena Han

“There’s a name for the animal

love makes of us — named, I think,

like rain, for the sound it makes.” — Nicole Sealey, “Object Permanence”


When I ask if this

animal is enough for you, what I mean:

Will you meet me at the edge

of the water, will you bow on all fours

and drink with me? Will you pull my skin

open and dip your tongue, carmine

and bitter inside?

Can I claim you?

Can I claim you?

Don’t I feast on death

and love it all the same?

Don’t I make love

look easy?

Don’t the kudzu vines cradle

my ankles like a small child,

and don’t I keep God close

to my chest, don’t I make a choir

of crown daisies sing

when I pass?

“He’s all hollow! the devil giggles.

He knows his job will be easy, a human just one long desperation

to be filled.” — Kaveh Akbar, “My Father’s Accent”


Sorry, I didn’t mean to

eat it all before the rest of them

got any. It was just sitting there

it was so good I couldn’t

stop myself. I mean I really,

really couldn’t stop myself.

I could never help biting down on

the hands that feed me. I stake

claims on my property. I take

responsibility for my own stink,

my sodden, my sting, as long as

I can stand to eat, my

God, I’ll lap up your muck I’ll lick

the doorknobs if I have to I’ll rub

that slate clean. And then,

there was rain. And love

made me clean again.


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