Tarfia Faizullah | Self-Portrait as Possum

SELF-PORTRAIT AS POSSUM 

Meant to be whatever anyone

wanted me to be, I suddenly

was, and my eyes weren’t 

as mournful as they were 

open. What do I know of death. 

Here is my tale. It curls around 

a branch. I too hang upside 

down. I have no duties, 

except which tree, 

and at what time. 

Small creatures stare at me 

as though I am not myself. 

I don’t know why my hairs 

prickle. Sometimes water drips

from my eyes. I let it. Sometimes

I eat what others do not finish. 

My life is as short, or as long, as it is.