Spider monkey got a haircut.
He sat down in the haircut chair.
I say to my kid: At the first sight of tears,
Your petition is denied.

An owl nurse came in with a speech impediment.
She couldn’t say what she wanted.
The mouse put on the helmet.
The inside was little boxes.

Clear glass and how many colors.
Nobody could put on that helmet.
If I ask you to hand me a thing and you do it,
The words had nothing to do with it.

Here’s a pair of jeans for you,
And a left-handed athlete for me.
The athlete needs to apply himself more.
The jeans were all right ’til they shrank.

Here’s a pair of jeans for you,
And a left-handed athlete for me.
She misunderstood what you said? Not at all.
She got all there was to get.

Rain isn’t as clever as snow.
Nor snow as smart as hail.
I fled that beautiful city
That makes you have to go numb.

The numbered sections are wrong a strawberry’s
Taken control of the embassy.
That’s how they knew it was Sin.
Just . . . whatever they repented.

The principal African animals
Are the lion, the witch, and the aardvark.
Best keep an eye on these Christians
Who don’t believe in God.

I think I know a porpoise
From an out-of-work broke-ass dolphin.
I can’t possibly be the protagonist
Or I’d be exempt from humiliation.

Dolphin, go to community college.
This dolphin’s six months pregnant.
This is a source of dissatisfaction
For the ant, the gull, and the ant shark.

We leave you the crystal of truth.
But we’re taking with us the crystal of fun.
You find out if you were an addict
The minute it’s time to quit.

Inchworm over and over.
Maggot once or twice.
But merit is not merit enough:
There has to be pleasure . . .

Oh, inchworm, inchworm, inchworm.
And William Carlos Williams
Yelling into the open mouth
Of a nest of baby ostriches.

Water’s made of molecules;
Molecules, out of atoms.
In therapy you can come to terms
With the millipede’s indifference.

The magnetic strip on a debit card
Lets you be tracked from space.
A moment’s the measure of time in which
Nothing at all can happen.

The airport has many hazards.
Impassable rivers and starvey wolves.
Their hunting patterns exactly match
Those of the stranded octopus.

And who is as the suckblob?
And who knoweth the interpretation of the suck?
Daddy Longlegs looked it up
In the Lithuanian textbook.

Oh, I know, I know, I know.
Interrupted a hundred times,
The psyche goes into crisis—and so:
Ineligible is the bat.

Anthony Madrid lives in Victoria, Texas. His poems have appeared in Best American Poetry 2013, Boston Review, Fence, Harvard Review, Lana Turner, LIT, and Poetry. His first book is called I AM YOUR SLAVE NOW DO WHAT I SAY (Canarium Books, 2012).