Translation: Contract ~ Survival

Gregory Kimbrell


I saw him at night. It was when he was
sick and tried opening the terrible door.

After that, he died. I felt helpless. Men
can sometimes become dogs, creatures

scared of the water. I don’t know what
it is they want, drowning in the dark of

the brain. If the beast is his secret—for
the brain in fact is a beast—then I’m in

hell. He taught me a wordless language
of body fluids, of the first wine. I leave

my blood in the cage, with the key that
turns off the brain. I must eat the meat

before me, that stingless muscle. I love,
above all, the heart. I live in shadows. I

feel like I’ve been buried alive, covered
with water. I kiss you, Terror, father of

the blood. I can’t believe the dogs ever
walked through my door. Do you have

to destroy them? Come taste my blood.
Who cares about the others, if you live?



Gregory Kimbrell is a gay, furry writer who uses poetry as a means to exercise his imagination and create fantastical and surreal new worlds and to explore, and locate his own, sexual and social identity. He likes to reclaim the tropes of science fiction, horror, B movies, and period dramas and experiment with form and compositional strategies such as erasure, predictive text, and magnetic poetry. His guiding lights include Aase Berg, Anne Carson, Haruki Murakami, and Armand Schwerner.