Animals

“Well anyway

rose-petals

the dead

are dead”

hushed but

busted wide

with want

that Jim

still begging

for one

last go

and Francie

so starved

she’s throwing

down fries

just minutes

before closing

those eyes

of hers

and the

dog’s ball

was buried

last fall

but what

a shedder

she was

that pup

this one

time gobbling

up chocolates

with franks

poor girl

nearly died

then but

didn’t so

look

the sun

it’s white

the wind

it’s up

the bits

of straw

skitter across

granite and

grass these

rose petals

dying, yes,

but still

so fragrant

nonetheless

Photo

October

robin egg

I will tell you about the naked oak in our yard and about

my dead robin, June, who couldn’t fly south for winter

and about the Cooper’s hawk that swooped down to eat

the poor thing, pecking first at a dull eye, while close by

two cracked eggs, each the size of a large jelly bean,

lay oozing yolk and about the cold sky pulled thin and

plumed across my low horizon and about Hyena, with

his pail full of silver buckshot, who shouted from across

the avenue, “Wanna lick my lollipop, pancake tits?”

while behind him two fat boys cackled, with Br’er

Rabbit, the older by some years, in Daddy’s pink shirt

and about mother leaving for the City, her thin

lips painted plump, and about my gray lunch

congealing in a tin pan that sat on the top rack of a

cold oven and about the canned peaches she dumped

into a tea cup and placed on a shelf in her

refrigerator. But not yet and not here

Photo

Bird poop

Bird

Today I have been called to write about bird crap and about why it upsets me so when I find it thickly smeared across my car. It’s not that I have a fancy, immaculately clean automobile I am compelled to overprotect. No. It’s a gray Toyota Yaris I wash and vacuum a few times a year, after which I am pretty well done with the whole business.

But, when I headed out to do some food shopping this afternoon and found the entire front end and windshield of the car covered with the foul, crusty stuff, I nearly lost my own s**t, as they say.

In part, my extreme response has to do with my pride and with my not wanting neighbors and passersby on the road to think I don’t know how to maintain my property—and hence myself. As if anyone pays attention to whether or not I have a clean automobile.

When I really think about my reaction, though, I find I am most deeply disturbed by the fact that we are no match for Mother Nature. Ever. No matter how many times, in this instance, we might try to outsmart her by keeping our cars in garages—or by vacuuming, washing. and polishing them—sooner or later we will all get shat upon. And copiously.

Photo

Star stuff

torn screen

A thin, naked

branch scraping

her lacquered nails down

and up the bedroom

window like a pointless

backscratch reminds

me we are the same

star stuff the same

sorrow the same

sackcloth of bones

and wails the same

hunger and heat

we hide from

the one

who says,

“You know we love you. Right?”

 …

Alone in her bedroom a young mother shouts,

“Don’t pretend you can’t hear me!” and smirks,

those teeth, front-gapped,

those eyes, dark and empty—

on the walnut nightstand sits

a drained bottle of bourbon,

beneath it an oval

burn mark the size of a

child’s scabbed knee.

 …

 By the pond a peeper

announces the arrival of

spring, his biology

unhiding a loin-longing

he cannot escape.

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