Tagged: animals

Playing Dead

for a possum to play dead effectively
it can’t look too good
evolutionary priority is given
to the ugly – the mottled fur
the hairless face like carrion
the chitinous tail, the smell

if a possum chooses another
she will do so for its longevity
its eligibility based on ugliness
therefore beauty
the young are carried on the stomach

tight against fat hanging
towards the ground, dragging
through ticks and the litter
disgusting, undesirable
reliable

no one comes for the possum
not the hungry, nor the thirsty
the possum does not pretend
to be alive – it is therefore safe
it is ready to drop dead
at any moment

a long, upturned smile
the secret – to live precisely
when you must

Pesticide 2

ants grow their fungus
in my ears
confuse my eyes with pools

they touch me, expand
get used to me
not moving

I try to see their whole bodies
in a way I’ve never seen
my whole body

but can feel it

I am up top, pressed
against glass
I am standing too close

to the moon
It goes down my body
to the planet

I try to see its whole body
in a way I have never seen
my whole body

but can feel it

Vision at Fallen Home

we took his couch, some
tools – to help
evacuate belongings

we took his cords

the garden too
has been demolished
though hummingbirds return
for the turk’s cap
along the fence

they go from stagnant
to blistering
which feels familiar

one transcendence
to another
a tourist in each

starting to head back
then pulled out
by color, certain
red objects

brilliant against
old footage

a poppy
a war

in many ways I feel
that we knew each other before
we must have done

the way you identified my mouth
like a plant from home

and I know your hands

and I fear so capably
your loss, as if
it has happened

SWAT

woke up drenched again, not
dreams, not raining
who knows

there’s a resiny
imprint of me
on my mattress, laid over
countless others
like days

I go through what I ate, when
the withdrawal symptoms of
things like caffeine
pot, what I’m wearing
sleep positions, if
I should shower before I sleep

maybe my mattress is a valley
my blankets roads
I overheat, sweat
become cold, pull them up

to wake unsure
where the water came from
if it’s water at all, or
just salt

if while sleeping, I’ve
been swimming, and
barely made it back to shore

& Countless Other Things

        in my room there are four praying
mantises, two tarantulas, one puppy,
        two people

        matter is neither created nor
destroyed, but some things are small enough
        not to exist until culminated

        sex flicked off tables,
fingernail plate armor, dust bunnies,
        the occasional bird

        squirrels who gnaw 
the owl box
         back into the trunk

        the tree that fell so we
could stand before it, thinking
       through tunnels

        addressing dead starlings,
the consecutive order of ants,
        whether or not

        we should have seen it coming
upright decay on which
        we strung lights

        instead we watched it going
wilting & sopping
        but still holding up dinner

        for us, as much as anything
to get drunk & watch come
        creatures returning with tape

        inseparable to the earth
as if nothing could be greater
        than to be put in its misery

7-10

I run more when I’m single. I         dig holes in my skin
as if something might pupate         & emerge
I would like to be         more inwardly motivated
so my heart won’t come out black         in a rocky
bed. I’m consumed by         how much
it doesn’t hurt. Does that mean it hurts?