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Anatomy of a Secret Life

by Rebecca Lu Kiernan

We carried our beautiful monster everywhere we went,
Stuffing its chipped claws, serrated yellow fangs
Into black army briefcases, floral Samsonite,
Lamb white picnic baskets.
It was surprisingly light
Considering its architecture.
It was cathedral silent
And did not alter the taste
When packed with raspberries.
We could have trapped it under the bed,
Buried it next to the dog in the yard,
Lured it to the garage and turned on the Bentley.
We could have set it on fire,
Scattered the ashes
Against a sea foam dream.
No, we couldn’t keep it more than arm’s length.
We fed it our families and friends,
The blue jays in the gazebo heliotrope.
I miss its icy amphibian face.
Do you remember
The day it rose through the swamp lilies,
Curled up between us and asked,
“Can you keep a little secret?”

Copyright © 2009 by Rebecca Lu Kiernan

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