Wild Thought

J. P. Grasser

Fall 2018

Animals are good to think with.

—Claude Lévi-Strauss

I want to regress to the old way of thought,
not a mode, but a graveled road, a path out

of reason. I want to invest in a vestigial tail
that wraps my fat ankle like the very manacle

of leaving. I want to maul the idea of progress,
claw it to ribbons and leave it

on your back step—I love you that much.
Don’t you see? My rainbow trout cascade

like your dementia; my grasshoppers flit
through acres and acres

of shedding skin. Like my pheasants in fall,
grief flushes, and you, restive in sleep,

chew your own tongue. Don’t you see?
I want to gallop backward onto the stage

of evolution, scamper up its curtains, look down
unafraid, then plunge after anything

that gleams. I want to unfold the folds
in my brain until my eyes reflect light

and darkness (what you left) seems not unnamable,
but unnamed to begin with.

J. P. Grasser is a current Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University and a PhD candidate in literature and creative writing at the University of Utah, where he serves as editor-in-chief of Quarterly West.

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