We babysit two guinea pigs named Bitch and Luther.
You dream Pinka went on tour with Metallica. I can’t
look at October grass without gagging. Someone
retrace our grins to give back the night I dressed up as
Emma Goldman. What line did we cross in letting her in?
When someone says puppies, Max cringes. Milla hopes
dogs have a heaven without cars and humans. Micah knows
love is only here for a minute before the giddy retirees
run it over. An arpeggio scalds the throat. I was ten
when the bully confessed an old man hurt him. Suffering
begs the question of cruelty, or which egg hatched first.
You make a nest to draw robins closer. We house-sit
three hens. The kids learn to swim. We coddle a school
of pet spiders. We keep a bowl stocked with vociferous rocks
and bogged marvels. A window opens on the poem’s accident:
you say each costumed creature must find words
to placate their beast. We tell ourselves plants talk. I cannot.