Beasty, poem by Jed Myers

Your lovely head’s willingly lowered inside the wide angle of your laptop’s jaw, identity dipped into the virtual circus lion’s maw once more, but you’re not the lion-tamer—you’re caged, netted, long teeth tugging already at your neck. Like the antelope, throat in the predator’s grip, you’re limp and numb, mercifully anaesthetized for the kill. It’s only seeing it in you I can guess my predicament, symmetrical. We once talked this time of night. We can’t now, sucked in toward the catalytic scintillations inside an etheric sphere, the stomach of a creature slouching toward the Amazon, about to siphon into its vast abdomen our last oxygen, piped in to keep us typing.

You’re in the breakfast nook. I’m here
at the dining room table. We crouch
in chairs we could brandish, poke legs into the lion’s face, keep those ghostly incisors at bay, but our fingers play on the keys, and we say nothing at all to each other for hours, nights, days.
We remember to eat something, brush our teeth, obey our clocks for work, but the ether is sweet, the new creature, our infant monster, delights us more than each other. What we once called love, once we’re consumed, our human children won’t remember.

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Diane Payne