“The Bureau of Mercy”

A Poem by Lucas Jorgensen

May 18, 2023  By Literary Hub

The summer I started / Prozac was a massacre / at work. The glue traps / that captured grasshoppers / careless in their collateral. / First, a frog. Then, a gecko. / Eventually, a snake, / juvenile. He writhed / against the trap, worked / himself deeper / and deeper / into the glue, spread / himself thin until / each inch of trap / held a leopard scale. His skin / like a tarp pulled taut / over his skeleton, leaving / no space to squirm / against it. I thought of myself, / once pinned down / by something so large / it was alien, like trying / to describe a flower / from another nature’s world. I / picked up the strip of paper, / filled the bucket, dropped / the snake inside. My thoughts / plinked into the water / beside it. I was / guiltless. The snake / needed to drown.

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