Why Can’t God Send Us Some New Kind of Animal?

by Jerry Ratch

We're too busy fighting, ourselves.

And all the traffic has finally gone home.

About the only thing left on the highway

now, is a smashed rabbit

with one ear pricked up,

listening to itself.


In some book in the future they will

howl about us. But today, just for today,

why can't God send us an animal,

some new kind of pet that looks so sad

people can't fight anymore?


But in the meantime, on the branch,

rows of butterflies dry themselves with sunlight.

They're taking pictures of our shadows,

and print them on their wings.

You should see what that looks like

from here.


But you only have that

nitrogen-freshened lucent skin.

And you have the one barren singing syllable

that holds the soul like a faint candle

in front of it.


I guess the ultimate, penultimate failure

would be to write a love poem that

turned on everybody but you.