New Companions Coming Soon

I find myself

at the pet store,

bent at the waist

reading how to care

for Leopard Geckos.

Origin: Pakistan.

Great starter lizard.

Eats crickets

dusted with calcium,


to the Russian Tortoises,

gray faces crinkled as linen,

they would add slow

life to my apartment,

poker chips of carrots.

Some tanks barren,

a sign reassures:

New companions

coming soon.

Crouching lower,

thighs tight from yoga,

the Central American

Boa Constrictor eats

a defrosted rodent, and yet

I’m drawn to snakes,

cable cords of bodies,

especially the baby

corn snakes, candy pink

with red-hot eyes,

some asleep in braids,

some awake

winding like taffy through

a miniature tree where

their skin peels off

to hang like sheer,

crisp tinsel. A boy

walks up next to me,

touches their glass tank

with one finger.

Wearing a Sturgis t-shirt

he has white-blond hair,

slick-shorn to the scalp

like lamb’s wool.


he whispers.

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