The Caged Girl Wishes That The Man in the Volcano Was Free Like Her

By Devon Moore

At the carnival there are stuffed fabric chupacabra dolls
and jars filled with six-feeted pigs, but I am most afraid
of the man and the body of the man and the head of the group
of men that thought it was a good idea that people pay
two dollars to see this. This is not about the economy,
this is about how I bought and sold myself for a feeling
deep down in the pit of my guilt that says you enjoyed it,
you enjoyed it, and I swallowed fire like a geek does
and this isn’t high school anymore. But I can’t stop staring
at the alligatorturtle hybrid who I saw move, I saw move,
in a kiddie pool filled with pennies and dimes and the occasional
quarter sunk to the bottom and I’m so worried that the metal alloy
is leaching into its reptilian skin and I know that the part
alligator part turtle would be hunched in the corner if there was room
enough for a corner, and we all know that people have been visiting
his body all day to wish that they’d get laid. Or that their fathers wouldn’t die.
Or that their ex-lovers would or would not get a blade to the eye.
Or that they’d come back to them and beg for forgiveness.
After a lifetime of wishing on my imperfections, on my not
too taut belly, on my slightly smaller right eye, on my less full
left breast, on the reptilian part of my brain that feels too much
too often like I should be running away down
into the bottom of the pickling jar of what went wrong.
I feel a heart. I feel a dime. I watch the creature move
as I move forward in the perpetual tunnel before a parade of eyes.

Devon J. Moore hails from Buffalo, NY, with a lot of time spent growing in Wilmington, NC. She worked as a high school English teacher in NYC and currently lives in Syracuse, NY where she teaches at Syracuse University and SUNY Oswego. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Syracuse University and has poems published in Gulf Coast, Foothill, Harpur Palate and Stone Canoe. Her poetry manuscript, Apology of a Girl Who Is Told She Is Going to Hell, was a semi-finalist for the 2013 Crab Orchard First Book Award and the University of Wisconsin Press Brittingham and Pollak poetry series.

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