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 who I am.
Does that make me therianthrope, were, otherkin?
Aren’t we all irrevocably molded by the others moving in and out of our lives?
Aren’t we all kin whether we travel on feet, wings, or thoughts?
I can see that reflected in the mirror of a blog.
Some choose to stop,
leave a mark in comments with words,
while others glide by silent,
keeping to the edges, to the shadows
leaving only a whisker, the swish of feather against air, or tuft of fur in passing.
Yet all characters, real or not, leave an impression echoing in our souls.
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