The zoo in you

You sit in your
prison, excreting blame and
flinging it through iron bars you didn’t even know
you had wrought.

In your red-and-white-ticked carny coat, you swap privilege
for entitlement
in a shell game that fools no one else
but you.

You think you’re so high
and mighty with your long skinny
neck bobbing, dipping your beak in judgment
of us all, but at the slightest
whiff of your own faults on the wind you bury
your head in the sand.
You do know that you can’t even

are as cloying
as cotton candy, as inconsequential
as popcorn and as disappointing
as a candy apple.

You think you have
all the Majesty of your leonine
kin, but deep in your cowardly
heart you know
that the openness of the savanna
fills you with fear, and you

prefer the predictability
of captivity.

You are a bright green balloon on yellow ribbon tightly clutched
by the child who thinks you might go
until he grows tired of minding you and realizes that he has
power, and the greatest thrill
of all will actually come in watching you fly
getting smaller and smaller until you become

nothing at all.

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