Please Don’t Feed the Spirit Animals
I saw a pair of mechanical polar bears
getting it on at the Vienna Prater. It was
unexpected—his bucking her from behind
while I slid by unobserved in a no-rail
cart. Knees to my chin, bar low and tight
across my lap, I dropped the fake
camera I’d been instructed to use.
They were polar bears in everything
but spirit, I decided—or else all spirit,
no polar bear. I couldn’t know. Who
signed them up for this? Were these
exhibitionists in another life, banished
to a special circle of pseudo-Antarctic hell?
Or was this a celibate’s reward? Sex in heaven,
perpetual love-making, no threat of offspring.
A giant crab looked on from across the way.
And how was he supposed to feel,
lit up only by his own florescence?
Hannah Dow is a PhD student at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Writers, where she is an Associate Editor for Mississippi Review. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as Harpur Palate, American Literary Review, and Spoon River Poetry Review, among others. She also received an honorable mention in the 2015 Intro Journals Project.