Abandoned Private Zoo, Cancun
by David Starkey

  1. Where have they gone,
  2. the tigers and jaguars
  3. who once dwelt in this
  4. stone structure overgrown
  5. with jungle vines?
  1. Perhaps they were sold
  2. to other, shoddier
  3. establishments. Or loaned,
  4. permanently, to America.
  5. Or were they sewn
  1. into images of themselves
  2. and sold to sports
  3. bars in Jacksonville
  4. and Baton Rouge, mascots
  5. for Eternity? Whatever
  1. their fate, casual travelers
  2. in the Zona Hotelera
  3. barely give this ruined
  4. enterprise a glance
  5. as they tromp toward
  1. the ferry for Isla Mujer,
  2. or search for the jet ski
  3. rental agency, or purchase
  4. afternoon tickets
  5. to swim with the dolphins.
  1. After all, it’s hotter than Hades
  2. down here and who cares
  3. about caged creatures
  4. that have vanished, the twisted
  5. sinews of their hearts?
Packingtown Review – Vol.5, Fall 2013

David Starkey served as Santa Barbara’s 2009-2010 Poet Laureate and is the founding Director of the Creative Writing Program at Santa Barbara City College. Among his poetry collections are Fear of Everything, David Starkey’s Greatest Hits, Ways of Being Dead: New and Collected Poems, Starkey’s Book of States, A Few Things You Should Know About the Weasel, and It Must Be Like the World. He is also the author of two textbooks: Poetry Writing: Theme and Variations and Creative Writing: Four Genres in Brief.

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