ONE: excerpt of ANIMAL PROBLEMS by Katie Foster / by Electric Cereal

poems from Animal Problems
by Katie Foster



I tell Julia “I have no loyalties.” 
I tell her if Russians come 
tomorrow with bombs & the whole
parade to invade I tell her
“I will be Russian.” I tell her too 
someone is in my bed 
who is not usually someone 
who is in my bed. “This is a new 
thing,” I tell her. I tell her, “Right 
now that someone he’s sleeping.” 
He’s sleeping in my bed. “This 
real live boy came,”
I tell her, “and found my bed 
and planted himself there. 
Then when I came & found him 
planted I told him, ‘You can stay 
until the Russians come.’”




Cutting my toenails I think, 
"This is the hardest part 

of me." Other hard parts: 
night, teeth, a penis

if I had one. Little triangles 
in the cross hatches of my hand 

skin. Mackenzie, his almond 
speech. For a week we eat

lips the soft part in the dark 
in his car in Los Angeles. 

When in the light we see
a wet spot on his pants. 

When his mother asks if he is good 
to me I say, "He farts on me

sometimes." Nut, knot, bolt.



Last night Hannah said, “You get here 
and you’re back in it.” She kept saying 
“You’re back in it.” I’m back 
in it. An hour and ten minutes 
ago I made plans with Jenna to go
to a party in Boulder. Ten minutes ago 
I cancelled the plans. In St. Louis all
the houses were pretty. This I felt
was highly suspect. Mackenzie’s dark
hairs are on my pillow. My less 
dark hairs are on my pillow. He left
this morning to go to Las Vegas. 
My parents left this morning to go
to Albuquerque. Different deserts. 
I went to Whole Foods and saw
many attractive young people. 
I thought, “Where are you – ” 
but did not finish the thought (“all
coming from”). I meant to buy
tempeh, mushrooms, rice. Instead
I bought a pre-made put-it-in-
the-oven vegetable pot pie. Right
now it is in the oven. Mistletoe
and holly tablecloth. The dog
in his cage. A timer running
back in it.



Katie Foster is the author of Animal Problems (Electric Cereal, 2015). Her work has been published in The ChappessThe Quietus, and New Wave Vomit. Follow her on Tumblr.

Electric Cereal is an indie press and online journal. Follow them on Twitter and Tumblr.