Like An Animal

Behind the smooth texture
Of my eyes, way inside me,
A part of me has died:
I move my bloody fingernails
Across it, hard as a blackboard,
Run my fingers along it,
The chalk white scars
That say I AM SCARED,
Scared of what might become
Of me, the real me,
Behind these prison walls.

by Jimmy Santiago Baca

Comments (14)

WOW. A greatest philosophical poem about the self. The metaphors are shouting and exploding. Fantastic short poem but powerful loaded and excellently worded. First of all my well meant CONGRATULATIONS on being chosen as Modern Poem Of The Day, Hurray! Thank you for sharing this beautiful poem sheer brilliant poetry from your exploding inside. Submitted in 2003, My highest compliments, Jimmy Sir. GBU in Abundance, Amen
A great philosophical poem nicely executed.
Our real self is caged inside our mind. Nice poem indeed. Thanks for sharing.
The real me! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us.
jimmy is an albuquerque, new mexico resident as i am. i've met him, read him, and know something of his story. the prison walls in this poem are probably literal—that's part of his story—as well, perhaps, as figurative. i don't have anything much to parallel his prison experience, and yet this poem strikes me with blunt force. i think again that baca is a natural poet—poetry just seems to flow right from him. -gk
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