I Am Rage

Ashley Sapp

The world goes down slow,

    a gentle submersion.

        Come alive,


it says to the wildlife hiding
    beneath the longleaf pines,
        branches signaling peace


against a solemn dark. Here
    comes the raccoon, squealing.
        He approaches me and my


dog, stops short on sight,
    and the world pauses in
        that moment of question.


The blindness you feel is
    no accident. As though
        he senses my curiosity,


he scatters as quickly as he
    came, leaving me to wonder
        like the human I am.

To leap into this moment
    is to abandon the last, humanity
        in transition within our sights.


I am taught about losing
    through evolution; what is left is
        the ellipsis of pausing: between.


And with a macchiato mouth,
    I kiss my lover as though
        he can revive me, feed me


his lifesaving breath, so I swallow—
    the world easing on its haunches
        unhurried. This is what

it is to not worry anymore.
    This is what it is to not hurt
        anymore. At 1:00am


in mid-February, I have
    discovered my own savagery
        and feel beneath the sheets.


My body has morphed
    into one I can now touch,
        a guide of nature’s moods.


Yes, the world goes down
    slow because it knows the
        people it takes to catastrophe.


I suppose I do, too.
   Come alive, I speak into
        existence as the earth wakes.

Here comes my body,
    lurching. It has known
        violence, but I am rage


and the world will not
    survive me. And so
        I weep. So I sleep.

About the Author

Ashley Sapp (she/her) resides in Columbia, South Carolina, with her dog, Barkley. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of South Carolina in 2010, and her work has previously appeared in Indie Chick, Variant Lit, Emerge Literary Journal, Common Ground Review, and elsewhere. Ashley has written two poetry collections: Wild Becomes You and Silence Is A Ballad. She can be found on Twitter @ashthesapp and Instagram @ashsappley.