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  • Writer's pictureLammergeier Staff

Monotreme Dreams | Rachel Feder

Updated: Dec 21, 2019

medicinal, confusion

at least theoretically

like waking from a dreamless

sleep, all milk

and eggshells

do we follow monotreme

retrograde protocols

very well we follow

monotreme retrograde

protocols like leaving

extra time to swim

across the known body

of water into

the unknown like expanding

our definition

of animal life

the true non-linear nature

of my tail, my beak

my webbed feet.

I surface like a memory

in my den. Everything

I do is an offering

to the mammal you

have become, who I will

never be, waking

from an unknown world.

Did you just make a heart for me

because you love me?

I will smash it up, is that cool?

The small plastic

tool. A thing that will emerge

from the ground some future

day, if there are any mammals left

to find it.

A small mammal thing, an animal thing.

Of the mammals, only monotremes

can’t dream, our profound rest

the price you paid

for the child in your belly, his toes

separating against your skin,

leaving shimmering waves

like markings

in prehistoric sand.

What would a submarine man need?

Scissors, goggles

each piece a fragment

you break from the whole, a webbed network

of silver plastic, detritus of industry.

Your mammalian child lifts

a minuscule knife, fine motor, to your chest.

And now we need to cut your heart.

It will not hurt.

Rachel Feder teaches at the University of Denver. Birth Chart, a collection of astrology poems, is forthcoming from SUNY Press in Spring 2020. This poem, the first in a new series about motherhood & peculiar animals, took as its prompt some descriptions of Mercury retrograde by Emily Heather Price, aka The Voluptuous Witch.

Twitter: @RachelFederDU



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