Your paper should be 2-3 pages long, and feel free to give details and use direct quotes from the poem to make your point.
They could get out if they tried.
All they’d have to do is retrace their steps:
climb up the nylon parlor mesh,
squeeze through the metal ring,
walk upside-down across the twine net,
an easy backflip through the wire hoop,
scuttle down the inclined web
and home free.
It would take some effort, half a brain,
and some claw-eye coordination, to be sure,
but they could do it if they applied themselves,
if they used their God-given ganglion-power
and really put their carapaces into it.
But they prefer to take the easy bait,
whatever rotting fish I hand out to them
and, sure enough, they fall into the trap’s head,
then find their way to the parlor
where they just lie there,
fanning their tails and flicking their antennae
up and down like a busted drawbridge.
They lounge there all day, gills sucking in the bay
until the trap’s hauled in
and I dump them in the boiling pot.
They could have gotten out if they tried.
If only they’d wanted it bad enough.
We spread them out on the floor like a handmade paper fan,
a prism of yellows—every flavor on demand,
from Lemon and Butter, to Mustard and Honey Wheat,
chips of sun named Evening Glow, Golden Fleece,
Oyster Bisque, and Treasure Isle. Should our kitchen be
Daffodil or Dandelion? Cuddle or Canary?
Champagne Dance, perhaps, or Amber Waves, or Zest?
I wish I knew.
“Maybe,” I suggest,
“we should look at blue.”
I have known the smoking bronze of bracelets
bright-cut one by one by copper hands
scarred by sparks from diamond blades,
each cut timed, a blink, exact,
burning stars into the smooth face
that, sparkling like a polished wish,
will someday slip and shine on slender wrists.
And I have known
the tick-tock tedium
of the flesh beneath the saw,
chip, chip, chipping,
fingers just a heartbeat from the spinning blade.
Poem # 4
They named him for a pack of cigarettes,
the colt who stood stone still in his stall that night
like a wooden horse on stilts, cold and wet,
with every joint and muscle locked up tight,
his ears stiff, his tail straight, his breathing thin.
He couldn’t move his jaws to eat or drink,
so sweat from fever thirst had soaked his skin.
He stared through owl eyes that could not blink
and stretched his head towards my extended hand.
“He should have had his shots six months ago,”
the vet said as I rubbed the horse’s face, and
as he filled that last syringe I said, “I know.”
The owners were too busy to come by,
so I was the one who stayed and watched him die.
Poem # 5
heat is created by molecules moving,
bumping into themselves.
How can you measure the warm touch
of a lover’s hand if not by degrees?
Sound comes from vibration
and travels in waves like the incoming tide
as it talks to the sand and the stones.
Musical whispers at sunset.
Rhapsody, a capella,
the sound of a kiss goodnight.
color is merely the bending of light—
but how can we describe the greenness of grass,
the blueness of sky
the redness of a lover’s wet lips?
Light itself is nothing more than photons
travelling at a billion feet per blink.
Nothing can go faster than light.
Except perhaps love.
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