THE SKUNK APE

Hidden eyes discern
Nostrils better interpret
Human decay

Beyond the quarry’s boulders,
Heavy as any burden,
Trees weed upward, all gnarled,
Hollow knot holes filled with darkness,
Open mouths forever silently screaming,
Shadows harboring sentient eyes,
Glowing gold . . .

Ghosts float past an autumn-tainted moon.
Distant Mack Trucks faintly growl.
A tired skeleton, growing old,
Stirs through the mist—stops
For some odd reason at the dead-end road,
Beside the smashed pumpkins—
Toothless and broken maws,
And scans a freshly crushed possum.

Rusted machinery—
Some say poverty is a black hole—
That bottomless pit can never be filled—
Others simply offer too many, too many
Mouths to feed . . .
People missing pieces,
Pussies, or things with “legs up to their necks”
That make a skunk ape shriek—
Children, empty mouths,
Game for the next shovel-full . . .

Blood moon—
A hairy arm parts
The bramble

Anna Cates

THE SKUNK APE

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