Two Poems By Melissa Cronin by Melissa Cronin

Limericks On Animals


The Smartest Sloth

Three-toed sloth,

No teeth and no sense of self,

More evolved than his cousin, the two-toed dunce,

He watches the world race by on his canopy shelf.

After a grueling trek every week, he pees just once.


Penguin Love

When a boy penguin and a girl penguin meet,

He uncovers the smoothest, most splendid stone.

He rolls it warily to her outstretched feet, and

Then, the best three minutes he’s ever known.


Sea Slug Sex

In a pool of jelly, wet skin on wet skin,

At last the subtle seal slug finishes his sensual sin.

It pulls its dripping member across their marriage bed,

And stabs his exhausted lover in her unassuming head.






A long long day full of screenshots,

Tippitytap on the back of your eyelids—

A spoof of a spoof of a spoof.


Boxes that contain lurid things:

Bratwurst legs bowed inward that scrape with each step,

Dry skin peeled off a lower lip, dropped on the couch,

Drool caked on someone else’s linen bed sheets.


Without the screenshots—

Your stomach would drop, as if you missed the last step

When climbing the stairs, 

A momentary sink.


Two inches by two inches, each one something like:

Neighbors mad at homeless people for owning dogs,

A liver-spotted hand holding a creamy white one,

The immigrant spanking her toddler on the subway.


Without them, you’d ask "What happened?" all the time.

You’d forget, like many grandpops

Who can’t remember which was which:

The toothbrush and the toothpaste.


A screenshot of a screenshot of a screenshot, such as:

The sound of an elementary school recorder band,

The puffs of soft flesh that bubble around too-tight wedding rings,

The tollbooth worker you see once and never see again.



Keep them in chronological order

In a folder nested in a folder

In a file titled, ‘Untitled.’






Melissa Cronin writes words about animals every day at The Dodo. Her work has appeared in The Huffington Post and Narratively. Sometimes, when she tries really hard, she finishes the Wednesday crossword.