Three Animals

Let’s say your hands, just so,
in equipoise
on your lap, can’t stop the space
of your chest
from ball pythoning the pink-eyed mouse
in there.
Just when its eyes start to water,
you change your mind.

It’s not a mouse; it’s a killdeer
caught
feigning broken wings to lure hunger away
from the nest.
What’s the squeeze?
Loneliness.

Or let’s say it’s not a killdeer
but a turtle
looking around inside its own dark body,
waiting.
Eventually something makes you laugh.
Your hands give up.
The python rolls away, relaxed.
The turtle
finds its feet and starts off slow.
You’ve no idea
why it walks around outside you
looking for a shell.

2012

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