By Meg Files
The creatures, clothed and unclothed, are in the ruins —
yes and the tango skeletons naked beneath gossamer —
here they are in the world with us sequestered. They
will inhabit our stadiums, the band shells, a cabana —
it’s not that before they were afraid but uncurious —
and now caped antelope, the furred wild turkey, a
gowned coyote wander our streets. We forget we are
animals here inside. You sharks, you spotted deer,
mountain goats, wild boar, puma — you are costumed
but we do not see you. So what, you say? What’s new?
They enter the school without uniforms except for
the knee socks, they levitate onto desks, bite books.
Unknown, unknowing, we hide in the CVS though
the beer and the tampons are endangered. The ghosts,
the ghosts in their lingerie boogie to silent beats. Do
they know each other, the creatures and the ghosts?
We, inside, cannot know. But our mates are nodding
on couches, and some wine still resides, and we have
abandoned our costumes. The creatures have satisfied
their lack of curiosity and are returning to the forest.
The ghosts in their chassé hang with the creatures. We
fools in sweatpants have forgotten that we are animals.
Go ahead, when this is over, the beasts are telling us,
try to live in your ruins. The monsoon has come at last.
Adiós, we would say, but we understand your word. So.
Meg Files is the author of the novels Meridian 144 and The Third Law of Motion, Home Is the Hunter and Other Stories, The Love Hunter and Other Poems, Writing What You Know, a book about taking risks with writing, a poetry chapbook, Lit Blue Sky Falling, and a forthcoming novella, A Hollow, Muscular Organ. Art by Karyn Kloumann, founder of award-winning indie publisher Nauset Press.