Sunday, June 6, 2010

Poem: For Blossom, a $10 Hamster

Your God will know you
by the slant of your one white spot
and the way you don't cry out
when lifted from your cardboard cage
by the giant hand of a five-year-old girl.
In your two months you already
have become secretly pregnant,
the dials of your soft body
spinning through their complications
in the slave cells of the pet store.

Think, if you were rare, the distant sightings
and cataloguing, your steep and cordoned
habitat, the teams debating your very
existence on that clean pin-top of land.
Instead you, born in a clutch of sisters,
known only by your crooked spot
(though to your sisters you smelled like you
and your name was never Blossom),
here you are sleeping on sawdust
the girl tries so hard to keep clean,
and though she is not your God,
she lays a finger on you late at night
to feel your warm pulsar of breath.
And when the mean boy comes over to play,
she hides your box under the bed
and says you ran away,
her face on fire with the lying
she does for you, Blossom, as if
you were the last of your kind
on Earth, and she
was the only one who knew.

(appeared in Mudfish, 2009)