Hunger Mountain - Vermont College Journal of the arts

Museum of Natural History

by Holly Virginia Clark

If I’m afraid of the hall of earthless burials,
the taxidermied bodies of beasts
we’ve brought down or dug up,
it’s the glass eyes, their soundless, roaring mouths,
the way I’ve wrought every savannah of myself
into some bounded pasture, how the lioness
can’t finish the slay, always the prey
stumbling down, always the tooth
not yet sunk to the vein. Go to the zoo,
all the prowling behind bars, and the cages
we persist in locking, so flimsy, really.
Let’s make love. Let’s make our small family
on the fields of their small families.
Plates in the middle of the ocean
adjust their shoulders and take down islands.
I’m saying what the island said
to the waves: Make me naked.
I didn’t ask to be spared.

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