“Could’ve Been a Gerbil” by David C. Kopaska-Merkel

Bitten by a radioactive capybara
at a sketchy traveling zoo as a kid,
since puberty it happens every full moon,
she becomes a giant rodent,
despoiling gardens,
breaking into supermarkets,
whatever the craving demands,
farmers shoot sometimes,
sometimes they score,
buckshot stings like crap,
but she heals right up,
silver buckshot, now,
that’s a different story,
she still has the scars,
missed two weeks of work,
told her new boyfriend
those angry looking pits in her butt,
were a birthmark,
the idiot believed her,
so she kicked him out,
you gotta have some standards,
wouldn’t have worked out anyway,
tho, being vegan, he smelled delicious.

David C. Kopaska-Merkel edited Star*line [journal of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association] in the late ’90s, later served as SFPA President, and has twice edited the Rhysling anthology. He won the Rhysling award (long poem) in 2006 for “The Tin Men,” a collaboration with Kendall Evans. He was voted SFPA Grand Master in 2017. His poetry has been published in scores of venues, including Asimov’s, Strange Horizons, and Night Cry. He is the author of 30 books, ranging from fantasy poetry to geology. Kopaska-Merkel edits and publishes Dreams and Nightmares, a genre poetry zine in its 33rd year of publication.
Blog: dreamsandnightmaresmagazine.blogspot.com | @DavidKM.

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    • Mack Mani

      Love this one, short and sweet, takes a cool premise and explores it succinctly and with a great sense of flow.