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Moral Inventory

— Ruth Awad

What good is your goodness really,
if it is undone as soon as it begins?
I flew across an ocean slicked with plastic,
and I am still afraid of whales even though I know
they are choking on our trash.
I had money in my pocket from a job
of casual corporate-unkindness,
gave it to anyone who asked.
I want to be a better animal.
I want to love what I can while I can:
my dogs who cotton the grass,
a song that fills my cup and gallops me
under a hunter’s moon. So what if I
snag in her antlers? I once had a body
that wasn’t a body—it was a voice
in a god’s mouth. It was the holy vowel.
Oh, animal, I thank you.
Oh, flank, oh, wanting gut,
say it matters, tell me to begin
again. Tell me, and I will.


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