THE RING-TAILED LEMUR THAT SMELLS THE WORST IS IN CHARGE OF THE ENTIRE GROUP
sticky in pheromones
from chest, cock.
Crowns every stink
to win the girl, lead
the troop. He flicks, flaunts
with his chatter of stench.
Tries to outrank, outreek,
king. And why shouldn’t
he be? And why not throne
our own biology.
How many years
have we wasted
on apology? The blush
of excuse me. Every fart,
burp and feces, the body’s
speech. What a triumph
to royal your own musk.
KOALAS ARE ONLY SOCIAL FOR 15 MINUTES A DAY
Hammocked in the forest’s
high hush. Tucked away from the gnawing
need for approval. Eucalyptus, company
enough. Don’t need to convince the world
to keep them. Koalas would rather sleep,
then spend energy looking
for a mate. Koala,
meaning “no water.” What’s it like
to be that thirstless? To not crave
the slow sips of a stranger’s gaze, the want
to be wanted. To say I’m the only one
worth my time. Invite the satisfaction
of single. Autonomy, an under-
appreciated view. Alone at night,
they sit, watch the holy saint
of solitude, sink sunset. Just look at her
power, how she turns her back
and the whole sky
KELLY GRACE THOMAS is an ocean-obsessed Aries from Jersey, and a self-taught poet, editor, educator and author. She was awarded the 2017 Neil Postman Award for Metaphor from Rattle, was a 2018 finalist for the Rita Dove Poetry Award, and is a multiple pushcart prize nominee. Her first full-length collection, Boat Burned (YesYes Books), was released in January 2020. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in: Best New Poets 2019, Los Angeles Review, Redivider, Muzzle, Sixth Finch and more. She’s the Director of Education for Get Lit, the co-author of Words Ignite, and
lives in the Bay Area with her husband Omid.