"Animal Studies" by Eric Wertheimer

Eric Wertheimer

Eric Wertheimer

Eric Wertheimer is Professor of English and American Studies at ASU. Dr. Wertheimers most recent book is Underwriting: The Poetics of Insurance in Early America, published by Stanford University Press. He also authored Imagined Empires: Incas, Aztecs, and the New World of American Literature, 1771-1876, published by Cambridge University Press. He has published articles on topics in early and nineteenth century American literature in American Literature, Early American Literature, Nineteenth Century Literature, and Arizona Quarterly. Professor Wertheimer has published poetry in Exquisite Corpse, Perihelion, Diagram, Shampoo, Adirondack Review, Muse Apprentice Guild, among other journals.

Animal Studies

You get to live under this sky for a time
And some day you come to know you are
Your parents' metaphor.

A dish filled with animalia
In which you consume part of
Yourself. I mean part of your body.
Your taste is you.

For if you say this,
The universe is not you
And that is how you know yourself.

It is all zero and we are in an era
Of building today, the best kind,
An equation of human happiness.

We see in them a prayer of ambiguity,
All that is jungled in our minds,
All that our minds sit beside and want to destroy.

So we love them and talk baby to them,
Readjusting what it tastes like to breathe
Through their nose, to pee on their earth.