Friday, February 14, 2014

Under the Impala

I awaken on my friends’ sofa
and gaze up at the slender neck
jutting from the wall, the horns twisting
toward the ceiling
and think of you, your voice softer and higher
than I’d expected, younger sounding.
I reach for my glasses, stare at the black glossy eyes
that reflect the adjacent pronghorn head,
the stoic coyote, the scaly caiman.
I yawn and stretch out and picture your smile,
with the lipstick you’ve recently taken to wearing 
which I like to think is for my sake, even though 
I know it’s probably not. Butterflies and scorpions
cover the walls, pinned side to side.
I think about kissing you. The civet frozen 
mid-snarl, the iguana with its tail eternally raised 
like a threatening lash. I wish I could tell you, 
wish I was not such a coward.
Skulls scattered around the house
swallow me with their dry, empty sockets.
One goat skull sprouts two stubby horns
fused into one. I try to coax you
from my mind, free myself of all thought of you.
The finches awaken in the other room, chirruping
and fluttering against the bars. Upstairs my friends,
married ten years, are still snoring.
Two goat hearts float together in a jar;
I still see them when I close my eyes,
these eyes of a solitary animal trying
to get back to sleep, hoping to find you
waiting there.

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