the zoo is closed

the last species exited through
a hole in the sun. ate a palm's worth
of cheerios & cut the chord.
lizard ghost shadows skitter
across the bathroom floors.
i am here to kingdom myself.
or, was i supposed to meet someone?
all the keepers have gone to heaven
& left their boots & their shovels.
when i was little i used to want
to fall into a lion enclosure 
& see what would happen. now, i sleep there
& futilely hope for their return.
when i say i want to be devoured 
i mean piecemeal. one limb at a time.
you know they can't keep sharks
in captivity. they go insane & die.
here is where the giraffes used to
whisper-talk with god & next door is where
meerkats dug holes to hell. 
i want to evolve faster. coat of fur.
maybe a tail. maybe a long hibernation
i could wake from & forget
most of the terrible things. 
in the giftshop i pick out trinkets
i would give to the monkeys. 
windup toy. claw. bouncy ball.
you know i wish we'd stayed like that.
yes, i know we weren't actually monkeys 
but imagine how soft a life could be
in a world of orangutans. 
maybe i'm idealizing them. maybe we would always
find modes for cracking terrain open.
once, i saw the moon cry. once i saw
the moon bleed & collected 
the thick blood in a little mason jar.
if i could see the animals in their cages
one last time i would release them
& let them destroy whatever they wanted.
take apart street lamps.
nibble on clouds. we all need
a release. on all fours i roam
the bear enclosure & try 
to remember what an afternoon
is supposed to feel like. 
i used to meet people. i used to 
eat from their palms. we used to
trade favorite animals & dream
about future cages. now, 
only the floors remain & i am 
just a fixture. i slip into 
the bird cages to search for
a single yellow feather
i can melt for butter.
i find none but i do see
snake tracks. smooth traces
pulled through the sand. 
i could get used to life on my stomach.
come visit me. i want to be
peered at. i wanted to be
all your boxed up dreams.
bring feed in a plastic cup. bring 
a necklace to snap at the crux.
what animal do you want to be?

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