I don’t know how it is for rats, pigs,
or snakes like my brother, but when the red calendar
in the red–walled restaurant told
me that I was a tiger, I took that fortune
with me in my corduroy pocket.
What perfect sense this made to me,
an explanation for why I liked to climb
stairs on all fours,
why–in fights–I felt
the desire to bite instead
of slapping like some monkey
or kicking like some oafish ox,
why I slept in semi-circles, my spine an orange slice
striped by sun through slanted blinds.
Even now I find myself hungriest at night,
rummaging through stuff
to tear open with my teeth.
when I’m lined up
between velvet dividers before
a bank window,
flanked by zookeeping guards,
& some rabbit or some cock
tries to strut by…
would it really be my fault?