offering 1

By Kelsey Bryan-Zwick

untwist from the mattress
covers, half asleep stumbling
alarm! Clock: wood chipper
grind out front, pulls up
no warning. Starts sawing
a tree out back
in the neighbor’s yard
rattles the whole bedroom
power on the stereo turn it
up, speakers buzz, machined
earthquake prolonged like a sinus
headache. Cut the sound! A yelp!
The dog has half a squirrel in its mouth
cut bloody! Chainsaw massacre.
The baby squirrel that had been
scrawling the roof top
slipping pine cones over rain
gutters, for months, is now half
a corps. Throw stick to distract
it from the dog’s bite, bag
the remains, search for the other
half, the tail, find nothing, tie
a plastic knot and throw it away
no ceremony, only back inside
revolutions on the news, the kid’s
thirsty, wants eggs for breakfast
the tree fills with caw! Or black


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