She loves him, because

he cannot be eaten.

Then, she tries.

Half dead, he resists.

His late flinch

entreats her.


Pale little legs,

that pod,

a few hairs,

almost no eyes—

this least is what she craves

yet cannot have.


Keep me,

he asks.

She bounces him

from paw to paw,


and sighs.


If he were

still alive,


would love him


kill him.


For Ethan Leinwand.

Molly McQuade is the author of Stealing Glimpses and An Unsentimental Education as well as the editor of By Herself: Women Reclaim Poetry.

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 October 3

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