. . .there is something that it is like to be a bat.
~Thomas Nagel

What is it like to be a swallow on a wire?
I gaze into the air, let go and float where insects hang.
I open my mouth to take one in.

What is it like in the earthy warmth
of a chipmunk hole, among nuts and seeds,
dirt and mold-smell clinging to my fur?

I am a wasp chewing an old fence post,
spitting out pulp to build the smothering nest
around my pampered and bloated queen,

a deer, my ears turned toward every whisper,
a porcupine shuffling through the forest, unconcerned.
Partridge–I am a great whirring, with open wings.

Horse eating wild apples and rolling in the dust.
Salamander trying to comprehend the road.
I am a bat.  I am a bat.  I think I am a bat.

No, Mary–imagination doesn’t count.
What is it like for a bat to be a bat,
a weasel to be itself, a whale,
the center of a swarm of bees.

Can you understand the limit of your mind?
Can you remember what it was like
to be a newborn human,
the undifferentiated world
sorting itself in your plastic brain?

Or do you even know what is it like to be you,
unconscious of nearly everything?

One comment on “CONSCIOUS

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