“Straight from the Tap” by Mary Elizabeth Parker


She squats with her mouth sucked up
to the cold water tap—

that freeze to the brain
should stop these cockamamie

schemes to claim her body's
invincibility. Only the earth/cave/

maw is invincible:
She watches a resurrected fly,

hairs pale from hibernation,
make its way across a cracked pane

in the new heat of Spring;
reads the inside veins of a pup's ear

back-lit in sun;
and notes how the old dog, killed politely,

so for four days it seemed to be
just sleeping, by the bridge,

red fur glinting gold,
has been removed,

maybe by osprey.