Animal Crackers

*crack, crunch*
Sudden shock of flavor
tickles the back of my

throat and melts
smoothly into nothing,
teeth coated with the memory

of forgotten pleasure.
Flashback to happy,
sunny days, walking

through the zoo, popping
in my mouth
edible miniatures

of the real, live originals.
Monkeys swing willingly
into my eager mouth,

tigers slink cautiously
into the dungeon
of no return.

Elephants with their babies,
giraffes with their loping gait,
find their way into

my personal zoo.
Tired feet marching around
from cage to cage,

cracker after cracker consumed,
as the heart is filled
and the box is emptied.

The sun drops below the trees
as the animals go to bed before
the biting breeze can reach them.

Sleepy eyes and tired legs
reach the car, mouth spewing
out happy memories of

the long day. Climbing
into the seat, a few last
incoherent words leave my lips,

as I sink blissfully
into sleep, hands clutching
a little red box, a world

within a world, containing
one last animal cracker
amid the crumbs

of the ones forgotten.





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