Animal Kingdom

for Donald McCaney


lets destroy the names will-o-wisp featherback rhinoceros

let us remember prayer is the same as pachyderm cephalopod

we are in breath we are the air we exhale to horse anglerfish escargot

a wolf calls a deer meal a deer calls a wolf brother

these words communicate divine and death in the same sentence

when there is a victory and conquest there is also genocide

if you can see the dark side of a coin as it falls you will understand

your mothers prayers lynx mountain-goat maiasaura

you will understand blue-throated warbler and tundra fox

like a tumbleweed making its way across gila monsters spiny back

like a glass of water resting on tortoises knobby shell

refined of shape and texture like panther on the tongue like

whippoorwill osprey humpback dingo yellow-bellied marmot

Don, your wife misses you every day.


Six crows pick through rat bones     clean
the streets of things that move toward
hope?     change?  abstracts of being
in an America we dont know anymore
brutal boys we dont know anymore
who we used to kiss used to touch before


a terrific change in the America we know


led to a clusterfuck in time     once a boy

told me I belonged to him but in this

lifetime Ive been given I decide I belong

to no man     when the men in my family

are angry they turn to drink     when the women

in my family are sad they turn to drink     when

Im in my family I turn to someone who knows

more than me about transforming into the moon


a terrific change in the America we know


I replace the moon with a coin so we still have

a currency     so we have a circular sill

under the weeping window     all these cluster-

fucks of boys beating on boys     no talismans

between our teeth     no marks carved in our skin

to show we can bleed     to show we were right


January 31, 2019


SAGE <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.2; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">Animal Kingdom</p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.2; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">for Donald McCaney</p>   let’s destroy the names will-o’-wisp featherback […]