Insistent Animals

Like livestock, we walk the steel maze
to our impersonal deaths, admit design

is a murderer; there is no exit that doesn’t
reduce us to beast, just our bodies’ meat

dragging us down. Afraid of your dwindle
toward dotage, I want longevity like

the Laysan albatross. Her courtship spans
nearly a decade before offspring, but still,

she takes care to nudge her mate off the nest,
still has the will to gently peck his bottom

like some kind of kiss, then spends three
seasons at sea to remember him better.

I am alleging I love you like this world
won’t parch, your face won’t ever blanch.

Melinda Wilson is a poet and educator living in New York City. She is currently visiting assistant professor of English at Manhattan College. She earned her MFA from The New School and her PhD from Florida State University. Her poems have appeared in or are forthcoming from Verse Daily, Burnside Review, Wisconsin Review, The Minnesota Review, The Cincinnati Review, Diner, and others.