A Few Months After You Died

by Mark Bibbins

Mark Bibbins

A few months after you died
I came home on a black and freezing night
to find a small cardboard box
on the steps outside my building
I opened the lid and inside
was a single newborn animal
hairless pink and clean
a rat a guinea pig I couldn’t tell
Was it moving I don’t remember now
why can’t I remember that now
It can’t have been moving
it couldn’t have
been alive
I considered my cat asleep
in my apartment would he
kill this creature if it lived
Did I have any milk
and how would I get any milk
anyway inside this tiny thing
that surely could not be alive
What kind of person
might have come and left
a baby possibly dead
animal there in a box
on my stoop what kind
If this was a test I failed it
I carried the box
three long blocks
to the river and threw it in
I have never so much
as in the moment the box went under
the surface of the water
stabbing and stabbing and stabbing itself
with the moon’s million obsidian knives
wished that I were dead
If death is a test I fail
If death is a test I pass

13th Balloon

Last updated December 12, 2022