I’m not a skin walker,
not in the old way.
Rather I am the skin,
the vessel, a ferry for bodiless beings
showing up on the doorstep of my imagination.
I am the channel–a voice
for the four-footed
for the winged
for the furred
for the finned
for the scaled voices that haunt my dreams.
Solemn spirits hold as much a presence in my inner life
as the string of broken-winged birds, crooked-eyed cats, and
three-legged dogs making themselves to home in my house.
I don’t know how they find me,
these odd little characters,
those with bodies and those without.
I don’t know why me.
I put out a no vacancy sign.
Still they burrow in,
perching on a stack of books,
shedding all over lines of poetry,
or blending subtly with the pattern of line and voice in a paragraph of prose,
patiently entwining who they are with…
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