Murray, My


by Dana Levin

caterwauler―a meat-sack
with another meat-sack for a pet, I
tended hunger―his and mine, the baby moles
he bat to death, the low-slung
hunt near the sink
for chicken grease―my
teacher-beast―he liked it

raw or cooked or canned or kibbled, he’d
clip a claw to my lower lip
if I was asleep―so that I’d
pad to the kitchen and slop his bowl
with seafood medley or chicken-beef, I’d
grab him up―squeeze so tight I thought I’d
pop, croon
silly silly silly silly and watch his eyes
close down to slits, I

tended hunger―it was on my mind a lot
as I watched the climate curl and bang, were you
watching too? Wondering if you’d
hesitate to eat your cat
in the new extreme
of flood and flame, I had a brute
about the future’s body―all around me

summer burst its sack of seeds
in trumpet horns of purple blue I loved
so much I cut them once
to bring inside―where they
promptly died―and thus
I knew―no matter how much
I loved the world, to hunger
was to be
a destroyer―

Poem first published online at Boston Review. Republished with permission of the author.

About the Author:

Dana Levin is an American poet. Her collections of poetry include In the Surgical Theatre (1999), Wedding Day (2005), and Sky Burial (2011), which The New Yorker called “utterly her own and utterly riveting.” A grateful recipient of fellowships and awards from the Rona Jaffe, Whiting and Guggenheim Foundations, Levin splits her time between Santa Fe, New Mexico and Maryville University in St Louis, where she serves as Distinguished Writer in Residence. Her fourth book of poetry, Banana Palace, is forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press in Fall 2016.