Today's poem is by Michael Tyrell

All the Unreal Animals

Larries emerge in October, annuals
like mayflies that come out in June
or groundhogs afraid of their own shadows—

the running out of chlorophyll is a music they can hear
that draws them from their terminal
burrows, more than the fires licking over the wooden giraffes

that have the memories of elephants
when it comes to their early colors they wore,
and the Larries when they see this begin paradoxically

undressing like hypothermia victims,
off come the layers as from onions or garter snakes,
and under the hot moon they look for marriage,

their compound eyes a lightning bug
code, lasers in the places where night
makes capsules where every Larry lies waiting,

convinced because all the other Larries look alike
he's being deceived—a world of reflective
tricks and rungless ladders—and only

in sleep, a dream being had before the relentless
color is turned back on, in the moment a human
snips an aberrant thread from the layers of hair

as though a tail grew on her head overnight,
the Larry's extinction alarm clock dies and mating's done,
love is the thing you and the Larry see almost once and never

again, and another human—I saw him on the train
early tonight—twisted his wedding band like a cap
from a jug of acidy wine, to the tip of his finger

but not quite fully off he twisted the such-and-such karat knot
and because it was November when we get off the train
and I let the crowd take him from me, I knew

it was over again, the chance to ask
a species what does it call God, and in all the streets
not a Larry to be found.

Copyright © 2014 Michael Tyrell All rights reserved
from The Adroit Journal
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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