While we may all feel like banging our heads
against the willow in the middle of the park
only John aka Wolfman nears the tree wild-eyed
resting his oversized rigged-up-tricycle home
with tarp carpeting against the trunk
where last summer a thin young man hung himself almost.
A neighbor calls the police
nothing illegal, but John repulses us.
We are sick to think of his skin
of whether it hurts under the coarse cloth.
It makes us sick to think
he has thoughts like ours.
A human perhaps a god dressed up like an animal
with bowed legs and not enough shame
to keep his troubles to himself.
Naomi Janowitz is a graduate of the San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis. Her articles have appeared in the American Journal of Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytic Psychology. She teaches Religious Studies at the University of California, Davis. Her most recent book is Acts of Interpretation: Ancient Semiotic Ideologies and their Modern Echoes, forthcoming from De Gruyter. She has published poetry in Response and From the Depths.
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