Who’s to say what you can believe or not? For every animal of affection that walks into your ark, its snarling twin pulls at the chains, trembles the floorboards. You feed them both, you give the same milk and the same bone wrapped in meat, hunks of bread to sop up the oil and broth. In the dark, it’s hard to tell one from the other. Their eyes have the same marble sheen, obsidian or clear grey flecked with green. One will tolerate the length of the journey. The other will pace and pace, howl at the moon, the rain, the sun, its shadow. You know it could tear you to pieces if you gave it more than a chance. But you sing to both, you run your hands through their sorrowful pelt: this one thing they let you do without complaint, knowing that you too must live in your skin.
In response to cold mountain (51).