I usually would be asleep by 8.p.m. nightly. I had to be at work by 5:30 a.m. every morning so I made sure to get my sleep. Anyway, one night I was awoken by a bunch of dogs barking loudly….At this time I realized that I had no control of myself, all I could move were my eyes.

Then I see the tall one rise up at the foot of the bed. Suddenly there’s lots of little ones everywhere. They’re fuzzy and indistinct, and they move very fast. I can’t move or speak, but I’m awake and I can see and hear and feel. I want to scream and run, but the sound doesn’t come out and my body doesn’t move….

Alien abduction stories replete with accounts of medical experimentation on humans
conjure images of our common experiences with other animals…

tranquilized tiger

Photo of tranquilized tiger by Maurice Hornocker, in Peter Matthiessen, Tigers in the Snow (NY: North Point Press, 2000), 21.

their terror and bemusement and anger perhaps communicated to us thus
appearing in our psyches
as unfamiliar kin with superior technology
and psychic means of manipulation

I felt a pain in my side, and I got very, very tired. I wanted to run, to move, but I had to lay down and rest. I felt so strange. Suddenly, I see those tall creatures on two legs who have many-layered skins, and bark and make clicking noises, standing over me.

Some are excited and I smell their fear, while others are warm and friendly and I feel love from them. They are saying to not be afraid. I can see them, but I can’t get away. I can’t move. They hold something shiny over me, and I feel something go into my skin…

The tiger speaks in an alien tongue
a presence in a jungle
in a faraway land
in a dream
in a cage
made by the Anthropocene