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Monday, September 22, 2008


by Suzanne Richardson Harvey

Our preliminary diagnosis revealed no apparent abnormalities
No early symptoms of the disease were visible
True he spent hours at the zoo
Observing the cheetah measure her territory
With tethered but predictable speed
Watching the polar bear
Pace from one smoothly hewn stone to the next
With deceptive affability

His favorite pet was his Doberman whom he found user friendly
He remembered to file the incisors
Till they were indistinguishable from the ivory tips
Of the poniard set in the parlor
He neglected to clip the nails
That had carved a hole the size
Of several finely crafted grenades
In the surface of the bedroom floor

At day care he demonstrated an unfaltering sense
Of expertise in the area of property rights
On the beach he staked out the lot for his sandcastle
With a steel tape and a marble eye
He achieved coitus with a treatise
Experienced orgasm with a slogan
Human secretions of any sort disturbed him
Sweat, semen, a tear.

Suzanne Richardson Harvey is a member of the Academy of American Poets. For almost two decades she lectured in the English Department at Stanford University. She is now retired. Her poetry has appeared in The Christian Science Monitor, Concho River Review, Mannequin Envy, Convergence Journal, Poetalk, Poetry Salzburg Review (Austria), SpeedPoets (Australia), Ascent Aspirations Magazine (Canada), nthposition (UK), Current Accounts (UK), Poetic Hours (UK), and Splizz (Wales), among other venues.