Still Life

I’m having trouble looking animals in the eye.

Their empty suits in outer space!

Monkeys injected with a virus to show off

Our eminent domain, the nervous system.

Teacup pigs we breed and obsessive mice  

Worrying themselves bald in a miniature opera.

For pleasures of the tongue we are

Winking cattle out of meadows

Slashing their throats and swiftly quartering them.

In riding habits with gold flame pins we ride horses

To hounds, chase a fennec fox until his red

Coat flares up against the extinction

Of light. Once in a circus we made

An elephant disappear and he did not mind.

More Poems by Kathy Nilsson