e. v. noechel

It Follows
There are days when I know
it's there behind me,
sleek and leathery
like the tail of a rat,
but feline in movement,
swishing nastily
like an organic metronome
ticking off the seconds
of my two legged life.

An amputee,
I feel my ghost-tail
brushing against my back,
tapping my shoulder
like a bad joke,
disappearing when I turn around.

It follows,
my animal heritage,
stolen from me like a name
full of consonants
at immigration.

At night, I dream of low brush,
of streetlamps at dawn,
red plastic water bowls,
and my vertebrae friend,
who follows me,
twitching impatiently,
waiting for me to wonder
why I was cheated
and how can it possibly
be an advantage to lose
a limb.
From Museum Mundane