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/jeanne morel

Nocturnal Animals

In the poem nocturnal animals show up in the daytime. Mingle with squirrels. A bird pulls a worm from the neighbor’s yard. I remember a lesson in high school biology on dissecting frogs. How surprised I was to see the clarity of the organs—discrete objects in the body. The next stanza dissects boundaries and personal property. Chain linked fences and cultivated lawns. Then an inordinate amount of white space. The eyes of owls superimposed on maps of towns. Charlie’s white Toyota pick-up parked by the garage. And the quote—When an opossum is playing possum, it’s actually involuntarily unconscious. In the penultimate line, moths, the poor cousins of the butterflies, flock toward the light.

out past the back fence

they thrum in the

thickets hover

they feed usual–

ly in yellow

zillions yellow

but of death

jelly telling

or for mourning

royal keeping

nectar strumming

keeper dead but

who will tell them?

Jeanne Morel is the author of the chapbooks, “Jackpot” (Bottlecap Press), “That Crossing Is Not Automatic’ (Tarpaulin Sky Press), and “I See My Way to Some Partial Results” (forthcoming from Ravenna Press). She holds an MFA from Pacific University. Jeanne lives in Seattle where she teaches writing at Bellevue College and is a gallery guide at the Frye Art Museum.


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