FNS: Zoo Night Watchman by Brad Rose

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Every Friday night we feature a short story, essay, personal narrative,
poem, spoken word, or short film for your enjoyment.

Helen Presents: a poem from Brad Rose


Loud shadows, a growling skyline, octopus sentences singing of the dark’s last pleasure. I stroll by the cages, the pens, and  feel suddenly sad as a junk yard sofa. The giraffes, like leggy corncobs, their blinking eyes, little satellites in a tall sky. Who will feed them gravity? The odd-toed ungulates, sound asleep behind their exhausted horns, weary from alphabetizing captivity’s woes. My brother-in-law calls me on the cell phone, asks, Did everyone get out alright? like it’s some kind of fireman’s joke. I tell him, That’s not even real math. But it doesn’t matter. Then the grisly green birds begin cawing in counter-revolution, and I realize this is not a sushi restaurant, although there is a raw beauty in the moon as it rises in the distance, over Wal-Mart. Maybe my character dies in this scene? But I can’t count on that, either. Pretty soon, the forbidden dancing begins, although the music hasn’t been invented yet, and the sky’s big black door closes, then opens again. There is no one to tell you what to do, no one to speak to you about the advantages of solitary confinement. As the sun begins to rise, I find myself pacing back and forth on the metal grate of the polar bear’s fire escape, and I begin to understand why everyone says a good pair of shoes is a fish’s best friend.


Brad Rose was born and raised in Los Angeles, and lives in Boston.  His book of poetry and micro fiction, Pink X-Ray, is available from Big Table Publishing. Brad’s poetry and fiction have appeared in The Los Angeles Times, The San Pedro River Review, Posit, The Baltimore Review, decomP, Off the Coast, Third Wednesday, Boston Literary Magazine, Right Hand Pointing, and other publications. Audio recordings of a selection of Brad’s published poetry can be heard at Sound Cloud. Find out more about him at his blog

 

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