amarillo: fire

waking from a long night
means that sleep has made an empty cauldron
of your stomach
and the first thing your body knows to do
is to cut something
if it’s food
(or even if it’s not)

don’t believe me?
watch the bear come out of hibernation
lethargic, stumbling
& growling loud enough
to harmonize with the grumbling inside

this part of the mountain thaw
is when every park ranger will tell you
to stay out of the woods

this phenomenon of hanger is a real thing
this is primal part of living
the black underbelly of omnivores

the part where every edge becomes a blade in
the disorientation
every misheard word is a weapon

this is how the fight starts

this is how we defend ourselves, by becoming offensive
this is how we protect, by hitting first

this bear, this beast, this temperamental creature
all those sleeping hours have scraped you clean
and made a hollow cave of your gut and you are depleted now
you are empty
so you are all chemistry sending out an alarm
these flare guns are sirening for you to seek fuel

you don’t think yourself primal, don’t think yourself animal
all this forward thinking
straight spine living
two feet walking
has dissolved the memory of your first nerves being flight and fight
that evolution started with something else
that somewhere in the warm dark of instinct
you were taught how to handle this
you are a walking mammal of mixed signals that tell you to launch at something
or someone
if you are hungry enough
because distinguishing between attacking what you can eat
and what you cannot
is not something you have the space for

you are your body’s first defence

if you are crawling out the cave with your hunger in your hand
there are claws for that
you haven’t lost those canines yet


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