Permission

Originally posted 5/31/2011.

Face up in bed,
wide awake,

waiting again to be impaled
like a bug on a pin
upon the memory

of the time I mercy-killed the squirrel
on the front lawn after its mauling
by the neighborhood stray
we all hated.

I pulled a strong knife
and slashed 
once, then twice,
over its tooth-mashed throat;
saw the spurt, saw it relax at once.
Then I reached for a stone
and nailed that dog in the ribs.

and it took off howling with me howling
after it, running it off, its shallow flanks
pumping ahead of me too fast
to catch.

I do not fear the memory for its horror,
but for its delights —

its promise of deus ex machina,
its flavor of massacres, camps,
and gallows blessed by others — 

its tang of permission.

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About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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