HUNTING SEASON

by STEVEN CHUNG

 

In the ocean I drown myself until dawn

to counteract the emptiness, my lungs

carafes waiting for nightfall to wound.

 

Mistaken too many times for fish, I pry

open a shark’s mouth, blow it a kiss

with my fist. Darkness allows for such things:

 

I am in bed crushing blackberries and

abandoning them at the bank of my mouth,

painting my tongue with their seeds.

 

At the end of our lives we are unrecognizable,

anonymous. But in the beginning

we are predicted: so I keep rebirthing,

 

returning to the womb. Seasonal fruit

are this way, their demise a sustenance.

Sweet lies of the earth: they are homeless

 

without my charity. At least the predator

knows its prey. That is a form of belonging.

Where are the bows, the arrows?

 

I am a law-abiding citizen: I am

ready to be any animal if it means being

legal to nature. Name me after the unknown

 

and sink teeth into my skin, for a bloodless

death in the ocean is too painless. Remind me

I am human, because without a chase

 

it is all conjecture. Justice requires sacrifice,

so I offer my security. Prepare me for the gods—

I am tired of being my own.