invisible zoo

you took me to the invisible zoo
& told me to hold out my hand
to feed the lions.
in their enclosure
everything was a stalking.
gifts used to arrive on my porch
from you. i told you i was
a reptile house, not a girl.
at least not for you anymore.
we held hands in front of the otters.
the wide empty tank
full of splashing.
we played hide and go seek
in the hippo cage. all stampede.
oh how you liked to
make the earth shake.
your fingers making pelts of me.
how i wanted to be wanted
to be wanted to be wanted.
a gift shop stood 
in my mouth. visitors pawing through
shelves of stuffed giraffes.
have you ever fed a giraffe?
their tongues are the size
of baby legs. troughs of feed.
laying down amoung the hay.
i learned how to chew 
from goats. they used to stand
on our bed posts.
you shouldn't have left me
in a place like this.
i covered my eyes
& tried to will them chameleon
or at least zebra. a needed
to look behind myself 
& infront of myself
all at once. the tiger is endangered 
& so is the albino snake
that coiled around my ankle. 
each promise you made now animal-less.
you pointed to the glass
& said, "don't you see them."
i leaned on your shoulder & lied 
to keep you happy. "i do. i do."

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