The Animal Within Me (A Poem of Awakening)
I found this poem in an old journal. It was dated July 25th, 2012—right in the midst of what I would later discover was a period of great healing and awakening for me. At the time, I had no idea what to call it or what was happening. I had only prose to describe what I was feeling.
Through a winding labyrinth of pure darkness and silence.
Soundproof walls, these tunnels uncharted paths.
Louder, it screams, and I walk into the sound of violence.
I’m running now, my eyes adjust, my ears are tuned.
Faster through these ominous depths, it calls.
It calls to me, pleading for freedom, for release.
The darkness consumes me, I slip, I fall.
I get up sweating, shaking, running, alive.
It’s getting closer, I can feel it now.
Shrieking and moaning, I feel the desperate need.
I will not relent, I will not back down.
I see a flash of eyes, red and hungry—
So hungry, this animal inside me—
Our eyes meet for the first time.
All the fear I’ve lived by dies, and now I set it free.
I bend and pull apart these cold metal bars
With strength I never knew I had.
I tears out and looks at me for a moment before
It consumes me whole, leaves me for dead.
It kills and tears all the flesh I’ve lived in
All these years of numb indifference,
Until all that’s left is its building growl.
No body, boundaries, or eternal sick silence.
And the walls, they shake as it screams louder,
Growing bigger, filled with all that I have been.
Flowing with red, raw, fiery passion,
It bursts into flames and explodes from within
The labyrinth walls, they shake and crumble,
The darkness penetrated by blinding white light.
And in the ashes, in the burning embers,
In the pure sunlight, I am reborn tonight.
I grasp, I crawl, I search for comfort.
Tears of vulnerability and weakness soak my face.
For I have died, as has my captive passion,
My shame, my fear, my numb disgrace.
And then you reach out and you hold me
With arms that warm and words that soothe.
I am filled with so much feeling,
Blinding passion and narcotic truth.
And after decades of fighting and hiding,
I feel alive and still and safe.
For now, my past does not define me.
My fear is gone, I decorate its grave.
With words familiar, because they’re yours,
With farewells to numb complacency,
My eyes, they’re open, my wings spread wide.
I’m ready now, come fly with me.