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I Put On My Fur Coat

And leave a bit of ankle to show.

I take off my shoes and make myself

comfortable. I defrost a chicken

and chew on the bone. In public,

I smile as wide as I can and everyone

shields their eyes from my light.

At night, I knock down nests off

telephone poles and feel no regret.

I greet spiders rising from underneath

the floorboards, one by one. Hello,

hello. Outside, the garden roars

with ice. I want to shine as bright

as a miner’s cap in the dirt dark,

to glimmer as if washed in fish scales.

Instead, I become a balm and salve

my daughter, my son, the cold mice

in the garage. Instead, I take the garbage

out at midnight. I move furniture away

from the wall to find what we hide.

I stand in the center of every room

and ask: Am I the only animal here?

from How to Not Be Afraid of EverythingFind more by Jane Wong at the library

Copyright © 2021 Jane Wong
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Alice James Books.

Published in Jane Wong Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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