|Oct/Nov 2013 Poetry|
Electronic/fiber artwork by Phillip Stearns
I carried it home in a carton
that looked like Chinese take-out.
I held it up by its brown-gold shell
mesmerized by its tiny flippers rowing
through the air before I lowered it down
into its store-bought pen.
I remember the quaint Lucite arch bridge,
the date palm with Crayon-green plastic
fronds. It seemed happy to be released
into what must have felt like freedom.
For two weeks I changed the water no deeper
than my thumb. Every day I rained down food
flakes like brown dandruff which slowly
drifted to the floor of its world, watched its
teeny pointed tongue lap them in.
Then the morning came when I found its soft
underside floating, pleated as a mauve brain.
I buried it in a discarded playing cards case
in Mama's spent tomato beds. One more
creature gone without a name.