“Home, Sweet Home” by Antler

Home, Sweet Home

A mouse in its nest inside a moose skull
     looks up at miniature icicles
          dangling from cracks in the bone
     above her head,
Silver icicles inside a moose skull
     as darkness falls
          and the cold wind howls
     while the mouse feels
          safe and warm —
     home, sweet home.
But one night she froze
     and come spring
          there was a mouse skull
     inside a moose skull
          and inside the mouse skull
A spider spun a web
     and lived all spring —
          home, sweet home,
     and when it died
A tiny mite moved in
     inside where the spider’s brain was
          and lived all summer —
     home, sweet home,
          before it died,
So there was a skull in a skull in a skull in a skull
     causing a poet’s brain in its skull to think
          isn’t the Earth in the Sun’s skull
     the way his poems
          are in his head?
And the Sun in the Galaxy’s skull
     and the Galaxy in the Universe’s skull
          and the Universe in the Big Bang’s skull
     and the Big Bang in Eternity’s skull
          and Eternity in Infinity’s skull and . . .
Home, sweet home.

Former poet laureate of Milwaukee, Antler, is author of Factory (City Lights), Last Words (Ballantine), Selected Poems (Soft Skull) and Exclamation Points ad Infinitum! (Centennial Press). His poems also appear in the anthologies Poets Against the War, Best Gay Poetry 2008, Working Words, In the Spirit of T’ao Ch’ien and Comeback Wolves: Welcoming the Wolf Home. When not wildernessing or traveling to perform his poems, he lives in Milwaukee with his longtime camerado, poet Jeff Poniewaz. For more info, photos, poems, check out his website: www.antlerpoet.net.

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