For the rest of my life, I bellow the names
of animals I will never see. No brown bear

will rumble into this cell, no wolf. She may
howl beyond the razor wire, but I couldn’t

even name her fur as gray or red or not.
No ocelot, no blue whale. It is a way to pass

the days. In another life, I would have met
a stranger, made him mine by cutting

off a limb for collateral. I would have
loved every bandage lovingly changed.

My mummy-man, I would have called him,
and now add his name to the list.


To read more by Erica Wright, visit her website.