ONE: excerpt of ANIMAL PROBLEMS by Katie Foster
poems from Animal Problems
by Katie Foster
AT THE END OF THE WORLD
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.
HOME ALONE 1
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.