The Philosophy of Animals

Sky never asks raven to stop being black.
It burps happy nihilism through the blue,
Drops poop on an island of the Cache la Poudre,
Perches in a stand of ponderosa pines above
A group of young drummers come to snub phones,
Pound hard then just enough to hear: the flute,
Twigs break, a rufous hummer suck red juice,
Bomb those with ruby throats. A sugar war.

This, far from my world of paperclips and bookish
Windowlessness, even farther from the South Platte
Where, seven miles north, a man chases opossum
From our drafty hen house to its proud egg stash.

Chickens watch the red light debacle, doze off.
Once-feral-cat slips through the old door’s cracks,
Past stacks of concrete blocks, to sip the heated trough.
Too young to know what owls and barking coyotes mean
Too young to linger with her single kitten in the barn,
She longs for touch, mews the dark back door,
Ignores her virile brothers’ glowing eyes in trees,
Sleeps in pick-up crannies ‘til the engine goes cold.

Come morning, I let her in, upset my fat Siamese who
Screams and squirts bright piss across the kitchen floor.
The new cat chases her in skids and thuds
Up narrow stairs, the attic room her private lair no more.

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