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A Poem from Roguelike by Mathew Henderson

 

Taxonomy

 

The Southern Colorado Hare is a lie.

Like the cake, it’s a promise, a try-on!

Rabbits don’t mate in the same place

they were born, don’t die nestled

in the bones of their mothers or sons;

that’s only something I said to keep

from saying we’re stuck, year over year,

in that same clearing in the woods,

another lie. Look, there’s no great herd

of hares forming circles in the forest.

I didn’t pull myself from the roots

of their boneyard up onto my mother’s

back, haven’t clung that same way

to the necks of the women I’ve loved.

It’s a joke! C’mon. It’s just kidding.

Don’t be like that. I know you wanted

to talk. Go ahead, tell me again how sad

you get. How it smothers you every few

months like it did your mother. Your heart

gasps under eczema. You find her housecoat

and wear it to bed, wear it to piss, wear it

to the corner store for Coke cans and candy.

Tell me about it again. Another fucking time.

You think it’s just you who’s caught in the loop?

She’s not dead. She’s out there too, caking,

making hares. She’s gathered you up from owl

pellets! She’s not high and sad, sick in a Walmart

parking lot, in her little orange car, the battery

dying and the last heat of her Timmies going

cold in her hands. It’s boring. It’s just talk.

Don’t think about it. Have I ever told you

about the Southern Colorado Hare? Try-on!

 

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