The first thing I saw was you.
Perfect, white, albino cherry you.
A white furball, the kind with plastic eyeballs
that roll and feet that stick. Innocent, fuzzy,
shivering in your white ball.
Then I saw a snake
in the same cage as you.
Forked tongue, the devil’s pike.
Scales, gleaming eyes.
You were its food.
You, so perfect, beautiful, innocent.
It, so ugly, cold, hungry.
Omicron. Literally, small o.
How can they feed you to a snake,
you, just a baby!
How many hours have you been alive?
How I want to reach in and scoop you up,
perfect furball. I’d feed you and love you
and give you a name and a home.
And write you poems.
The snake makes a move.
Quick, smooth, slithery,
a gleam of the glass eye.
Your sweet breath makes its
cold heart that pumps cold blood
quicken, its slender snake’s stomach
expand with expectation.
I imagine you as the tragic hero
brave Achilles fulfilling his fate.
One, singular, noble tear
slips out from a corner
of one dark, glimmering eye,
you, with a tear.
Or maybe you are more
cowardly than I thought.
You turn your rear end,
your tailed back, to your predator
and face the wall. The mouse
posing as ostrich, backed into
a corner, head in a box.
Then you make one last run for it.
A white tadpole, a singular sperm,
a partially peeled, mold-covered
orange. But there are only
six sides to your cage, and
gravity holds you down on one
while the snake who makes its way
freely between heaven and hell
closes in from every which direction.
An Omega sign
is a gluttonous snake
that swallows you whole.