by AMANDA HOPE
The animals that you’ve taken
Out of your poems huddle around me.
The things they mean live in them like parasites.
They cannot return to the wilderness, all imprinted
With your troubles and obsessions as they are.
They flick their ears, still listening
For your urgent way of making sense of things,
Expecting your clutch of knuckles in their fur.
How they sprang unbidden from your mind
In your desperations. How you sent them away
When they got too big for you to comfortably
Keep, like the leopard cub you hid until too late.
From Issue 6
AMANDA HOPE lives in eastern Massachusetts with her partner and cats. A graduate of Colgate University and Simmons College, she works as a librarian. Her poems have recently appeared in publications including The Shallow Ends, Impossible Archetype, TIMBER, honey & lime, and Barrow Street. Her chapbook, The Museum of Resentments, was published by Paper Nautilus in 2020.