If I imagine for too long some mute and lordly sense of the divine
that lives in the presence of wild creatures, that leads me unharmed
like an unseen hand through teeming dominions
to a piece of common ground,
my skin and my sweat will stalk me
and stagger me back, chastened, into the realm of bone.

How can I hope to share a glimmer of recognition
or partake of communion with these strange beasts
who cannot diminish themselves even by running away
or hiding at my approach; who do not deny
that the heart and the blood mark the absolute boundaries
of their domain?

Tim Hawkins has lived and traveled widely throughout North America, Southeast Asia and Latin America, where he has worked as a journalist, technical writer, communications manager, and teacher in international schools. He currently lives in his hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan. His writing has appeared in numerous print and online publications, most recently in BluelineFour and Twenty (, Iron Horse Literary Review, The Pedestal Magazine (, and Shot Glass Journal (, and is forthcoming in The Midwest Quarterly, and Verse Wisconsin.

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