The Hutch

The Hutch

Bold white spray-painted letters drip until they pool like blood—

N-I-G-G-E-R—sinister in regard but their meaning lost on me.

My name is N-I-C-O-L-E.

Clearly, they are mistaken or addressing someone else.

The air on my tiny face feels especially cold, though.

Closer, the open hutch door waves like an invitation.

Look inside me, it beckons.

My plum-sized stomach overflows with dread.

Eyes peer into emptiness until they squint back tears,

Body frozen to stop the neck from turning to truth.

Bodies strewn on the ground like rag dolls.

Overnight’s grass wants to swallow them whole.

X’s where there used to be eyes.

Once lustrous fur more like the matted garments in my grandmother’s closet.

Puffy cotton tails turned to burnt matches.

Thin fingers touch cold hard bodies, unwilling to move.

Crushed skeletons hidden in lifeless bags I can’t carry.

My callow mind wonders why they don’t spring back like Saturday’s cartoons.

Maybe the boot prints are too deep,

Deep enough to kill me too.  




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Animal Hospital

Animal Hospital

Before my coat is off three lines are ringing. “Animal Hospital, please hold. Animal Hospital, please hold. Animal Hospital, how can I help you?”
The Uncastrated Sky

The Uncastrated Sky

The uncastrated Sky looms heavy & hard over the cowering untamable, my father’s yowling rage Earth-shaking against the Universal No.


Never let go—not of memories, of friendship, of dreams, of hope, of love, or of the life you have. That was Irene’s final lesson.


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