The Petting Zoo

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Virginia Tech


In light of its title, ""The Petting Zoo,""? many of the poems in this collection exist on the page as animals, domestic ones mostly like cats and dogs and birds. Animals that have been tamed and trained to eat out of bowl or Petri dish, shit in certain places, and animals that have grown accustomed to the habitual pet and good good bird affirmation of owner. Katy wanna cracker? To be looked at. To be fed. To be loved. These poems are personal. They are an attempt to articulate the desires of a speaker who is in a constant state of trying to understand the world and the obsessive concerns that decorate her life: think memory, think past, think brother, think sex, think nature, empathy, imagination, abortion, old dog, abortion, love, all of which show up time and time and again throughout the collection. Touch and to be touched, to be whole and yet to break. These poems, perhaps, approach what it means to be alive, and even more specific, what it means to be alive and working through the aftermath of the past and day-to-day that for the speaker often feels broken and incomplete.



brother, old dog, touch, abortion, imagination