We put him outside;
he claws the paint off the door.
We put him in the crate;
We close the sliding partition;
he busts through.
We take no evasive action;
he’s on the bed, wagging his tail,
shoving his nose
in the most noseworthy places.
We’ve tried the hedgehog, the squeaky lobster,
the double knotted rope.
And though these may sound like sex toys
they most definitely are not.
—from Rattle #62, Winter 2018
José A. Alcántara: “I have worked as a bookseller, mailman, commercial fisherman, baker, house-framer, studio photographer, door-to-door salesman, and math teacher. I like lemons and refried beans and jumping naked into ice-cold lakes above tree lines. Poetry keeps me sane or at least what passes for it.”