Grand Mal


For one second before I seize

I can feel it approach

like a hawk encircling its prey

with one exacting purpose.

At the same time

I am overtaken by an animal terror

for my body knows of what’s to come.

The hawk, with skillful acuity

dives in for the kill

and as I leave my body,

forced out by fright,

it grabs me with its talons,

attacks me with its beak

and strips me of muscle, thought,

bone, fur, awareness.


A few minutes later I return

to my shaking animal body

discarded by the hawk

rejected by death

and knowing only terror.

Restless and raw,

groundless and homeless,

pieces of fur and bone

lie scattered amongst fragmented thoughts.



bit by bit,

piece by piece,

every muscle spent

every neuron used up,

I put myself back together:

tendon to bone to flesh

to thought to awareness,

memory by memory,

I begin to recognize

who this self is.

I tremble and cry

at once overcome

with the horror and wonder

that is life.