Poverty sits in the center

of her cage, claws scratch

and kneed

the barren concrete.

Her tail twitches pensively.

Her eyes are the moldy green

of a half starved cat

and her teeth are as crooked

as the banker’s. Feathers

rustle down her spine,

vibrant spears in the humid air in

like stray sparks of anti-matter.

She moves toward the bars and

like a wolf, lays her ears back

against her bald skull.

She does not growl.

She does not hiss.

She purrs with profound contentment.

It is the contentment of continual existence

in a cage. Or on a deserted beach.

Or with a grand audience. Or

meager laughter. With

a simple calculation she nods her head

in my direction and I want to eat her.