At my age, I should have had: an army of cats soft-shoeing
in the moonlight, a finger calloused at the crook from all the birds,
10,000 lobsters waving their armored arms, florets
crunched in their grip, writhing with glee and song.
But there hasn’t been a single one. Not so much as a crayfish.
I had hermit crabs once but they got mites and died.
It was very itchy death before I threw them into the snowy yard
because the ground was too frozen to bury them.
This was in college. I was insensitive. See? I’m no Snow White.
She wouldn’t have done that. She would hum the mites out,
scold them in song while harmonizing with silverfish,
and finish the dishes.
The kitchen would swell with animals wandered in off the street
to celebrate how through the power of hotness and song, she,
I mean I, saved the crabs. There would even be a prince
to enter at the crescendo to sweep me into a consummating kiss—
some tight-pantsed Lothario so weirdly sexy that I want
to grind his two-dimensional form between my teeth. I have no
virginal mermaid tail to save me. I would ruin all of it
by making ferocious love to him. As he and I drop to the floor
devouring each other and the animals hightail it out of the refrain,
parents drag their children to bed, hands firmly clamped over their beady, little eyes, ripping the tape from the VCR so fast, ribbons shred
and there is forever evidence of my vices caught in the obsolete machine.
The children are crying, Mommy, Mommy, she bit him!
Is she an animal? The mother replies,
Yes dear, the very worst kind.
Meg Reynolds is a poet, artist, and teacher living in Burlington, VT. She holds her BA in English and Arts and Visual Culture from Bates College and her MFA in poetry from Stonecoast at the University of Southern Maine. Her work has been published in Pine Street Poets and Pomeroy Street Poets Anthologies through Honeybee Press as well as The Missing Slate, Prelude Journal, Wildage Press, Southern Quarterly, and the anthology Monster Verse: Poems Human and Inhuman as well as forthcoming work in Mid-American Review. She is the co-director of writinginsideVT, an organization that offers supportive writing instruction at the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility. She hosts and organizes the Lit Club Lamp Shop Reading Series at Light Club Lamp Shop in Burlington, VT.