Ben Rawluk Literature Poetry

I Was a People Once

Ben Rawluk


Some days, the sky running pink and orange like powder paint hit sharply with water, I perch on the balcony.  I used to think about skinning myself, about there being something underneath, about all the ways my body could be modified or cut or altered.  Now I think of dress-up, of disguise.  I am recovering in a glass tower; I am thinking about applying makeup, new clothes, new masks so that I can go down there and walk among the people again.  I do not know if I am a people anymore, or right now.  I was a people once.  I am thinking about pulling on a cloak of black feathers and being a crow, which is symbolic, or hiding inside the skin and fur of a wolf.  I’m thinking about Jem and the Holograms a lot.  The animal choices all seem boring, played out, overdone.  Imagine hiding inside the belly of an animatronic elephant.  Imagine that elephant-skin-hideout-bus-tank roaring down Davie Street.  People would watch forlornly at bus stops.  I would pilot it with my eyes pressed to a periscope.  I would pull the lever to fire up the trunk, the trumpet.  It would be one of those elephants without tusks, no reason to stop it, no reason to pull it over.


Ben Rawluk headshotBen Rawluk is a fiction writer and poet living in Vancouver, British Columbia. He is a graduate of the University of British Columbia’s MFA in creative writing, and is the current managing editor of Poetry Is Dead. Ben’s first poetry chapbook, I Have Never Been to Manila, was published by Horse of Operation Press in November 2012.