The Insomniac's Pet Shop

I have no use for cages.
They can copulate wherever
they want. By moonlight, I clean
the dead canary of the birdseed
it is lying in. Pluck the pretty
feathers--the azures and the yellow-
greens. I keep one sign facing
inward: Thank you ... Come Again ...

is rat and roach
for lovers of the scuttle
and the heavy gait. With Chopin
on the antique phonograph
I savor the skips and scratches;
waltz with the white toy poodle
who sleeps in the wire cell by the window.

In my pet-shop, the fish tank
is covered with a hairy-green
algae no one can see through.
To buy a goldfish from me
is an act of faith. And maybe,
like your own prayer for rest,
you'll hear the tiny diver
calling you from the bottom.

:: Peter Marcus, in Agni #37

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