WHAT ZOO ANIMALS SAY AFTER HOURS
They call real names, like Underbelly Dark
and Trueclaw Slim. Softpaw comes out
of the artificial cave and calls for her mate,
Bristlenose, but he's been shipped
to Toledo. She comes out each night
all the same and calls for him—an act
of love not human since she knows
he isn't there. She smells his lack.
The call is her song and the song
does not change just because
he no longer fills the harmony.
Lanette Cadle is a professor of English at Missouri State University. She has previously published poetry in Weave Magazine, TAB: The Journal of Poetry and Poetics, NEAT, Menacing Hedge, and Young Ravens Literary Magazine, with work forthcoming inYellow Chair Review, Atticus Review, and Elder Mountain.