I. On the Enclosed Poem
This poem is a barnacled ovary on our desks and
we (in its wake) have built
yellow oceans of bile behind our teeth.
We have knotted our knuckles over
our bloated trout bellies and we have
dry heaved from our eyeballs.
Judith, my partner, chomps her mouth
like a dribbling bow-tie dummy and we agree:
this poem is too strange and
this poem is not strange enough.
If it weren’t about squirrels, Miss. It would be a go.
II. The Enclosed Poem
Professional Squirrel is delighted
that you caught him,
dug him up, a Winter Nut Finding.
You searched in the beagle way
(Ol’ Truffle Pig)
googling and scrolling
till you found Professional Squirrel.
You found him on Facebook,
but he regrets to inform you
(O Finder of Professional Squirrel)
that Facebook Friendship is over and
crossing the line.
Professional Squirrel has Professional Boundaries.
Now that he has told you,
You will take your moan-rum taffy,
your howl-wet tongue,
and wipe the Professional Rejection
from your Facebook wall.
Judith could love
this poem if she had not popped
the small cone toenails from the feet
of the squirrel her mother loved
when Judith was small (like the
Or if she had not pressed a toothpick
(chewed and undignified) into
the rectum (small, like Judith)
of the squirrel, who bled and closed its eyes and
remembered what it was like to wear a nut in the dark
hood of its mouth.
And me, I could not love
this poem, even if my husband
(another squirrel rectum-rapist at least twenty
years ago, when it was not strange, we reason)
did not wear his furry trousers and the headpiece
in our bed, and even if I had not, over the years, hidden
handfuls of ground-gathered acorns in his own rectum.
He did beg me, and it was only at night, we reason, when
it was not strange.)
V. We Release This Poem
And invite you to submit again, but wait at least
one season, as we are experiencing a high volume of
rectal sympathy pains, and we expect them
to subside by winter.