V. To a Survivor
It wasn’t your fault. You hold guilt like a snowball
in bare hands, the cold permeates through flesh
You sit outside, numb winter with winter.
There is a beast hibernating inside you.
Describe him: the long pause before the silence.
Describe him: a snarl, a half-bitten ear, eyes sour as lemons.
Describe him: a thorn, a husk sweet as venom.
Go ahead and wake him, you are ready
to engulf yourself in the feral, the teeth, the frenzy of claws, claws, claws.
Soon, you’ll see how he stalks the past
and puts it to rest
with one swift bite to the neck.
Michael Russell is a 27-year-old queer poet who is working on his first chapbook. He lives in Toronto. His work has appeared in cahoodaloodaling, Forage, The Maynard, (parenthetical), The Quilliad, untethered and QDA: A Queer Disability Anthology.