by Bill Yarrow
They were discussing reincarnation,
what animals they would come back as.
"I'd be a vole," Cranshaw said. Is a vole
even an animal? Connie asked. "Of
course it's an animal! It's the only animal
whose name begins with a V. What
about vulture? What about vulpine?
"A vulture is a bird, not an animal.
And vulpine is an adjective, not a noun."
Are you sure? Yesterday, I saw a hive
of vulpines in Oxnard. "Adjacent
to the canines, no doubt!" Connie
went silent and stared at chain-link
fence surrounding the abandoned
construction site. Her iPhone buzzed.
I don't care what you say. Canine is
a noun. I know it. So is feline. Vulpine
must be one too! "Your sense of reality
is highly incidental." Well, you don't
even know that birds are animals!
"What animal would you come back as
then, Connie?" A raccoon with razor
teeth and a keen appetite for voles!
All rights reserved.
A version of this poem was published in After Hours, Issue 32-33, Summer 2016.
"Cranshaw Engages in Debate" appears in THE VIG OF LOVE (Glass Lyre Press, 2016).