MAN, WOMAN, AND SNAKE
The man proposes to the woman with a baby corn snake,
which she later names Tamale.
Tamale sunbathes in the grass on their wedding day.
On their honeymoon, she sleeps under a rock and
digests two mice.
The couple stays together.
Tamale lives a full life.
The dog was suspected to have rabies, because it foamed at the mouth
when John tried to cut its nails,
when John poured food in its bowl.
Susan, who had found the thing on the street,
had brought it home and tried to call it Barney.
He was a mutt of some sort,
big-chested and mean-looking, but Susan loved him
for all the things he was not.
Then Barney ran away.
When he came back he had a seizure on the front porch,
and John shook his head,
touched the dog gently with his boot and said,
“Better to shoot the thing.”
Barney did not have rabies, he was just overly excited.
Susan liked that about him. John did not.
ALL OF THE LONELY PLACES
When Bowie died, I didn’t leave the house
for a week.
My neighbor, whose belly was round and full with
brought mangoes over. We sat on my patio and sliced
them together, cutting in neat and
She said, “I’m going to name the girl Stella.”
There was a boy in there too. He didn’t move as much.
The twins came in February. Later, my neighbor said she felt
deflated. I would see her out on her patio,
holding her stomach.
“It’s lonely in there.” She told me. “I don’t know
how to feel today.”
Demi Richardson studied writing at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming with Broken Tooth Press, Red Flag Poetry, Words Dance, SLAB, and Alien Mouth.