Willingly

Although he stinks,
I love to hold his small
brokenness on my lap,
reeking teeth worn down
on a metal cage to almost
nothing, tongue that hangs
clear out when he feels
safe. I love that he came,
tail wagging, when the
dog catcher called,
hind legs dragging, mangy,
fur fallen mostly out,
mangled spine, freakish
callous on one toe
from scraping it behind.
His ear with the hematoma
will never be the same.
It is bent clear over
like a very old man.
He will not be right
again. …

Birds of Illegal Trade

To be a traitor is to trade—
     Take, for example, the blue macaw

of my childhood, traded
     for two rocks of crack

and a dime of blow. My block raided

Schadenfreude, Austin

February is checking my e-mail
while waiting at the drive-thru
dry cleaners to pick up my husband’s
work shirts, pressed razor sharp
and the girl asking from the backseat,
“What …

Golden Eggs

Cooked, the socks, the pantry stocked,
 
Thanksgiving dinner for twenty.
 
Crab apples around the turkey on a platter I’d serve
 
Modeled from a photograph.