“In Memory of Exoskeletons”

Published by Memoryhouse Magazine, “Albeit” issue.

And there it goes—another shingle chipped off,
chiseled away this time by the righteous cliché of a baby’s stunned
laughter, and
in Trump’s America, I’m lying naked on the banks of a mosquito-clogged swamp
and the hungry bastards are full of malaria,
pink eye and mad cow disease.

He’s not my first nephew,
I wasn’t a great big sister, but watching my baby brother’s baby
shriek joy and kick fat legs is somehow brand new,
a sneaky tectonic shift
that moves everything in my life two disorienting inches to the left.

I watched a Facebook video featuring a Sulcata tortoise
whose shell had been damaged in a house fire. Chunks missing,
mottled flesh exposed
to cruel breezes and sunshine, but do-gooders made him a 3-D
printed shell
and it seemed to do the trick.

I’ll have to watch less news, drink more, but Darwinism
will eventually claim me, soft and angry
wrapped in layers of beige cardigan sweaters that aren’t helping, and
by then I’ll probably
go so quietly.

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