Poem by Steve Petkus

December 15, 2023

Exhibit A

So I get there, and what’s the big
emergency? Her iguana’s legs
got swollen and he won’t eat.
I’m like, Good. Won’t have to drop cash
buying crazy food all the time.
But there I am helping just the same,
and it’s only after we drag his cage
onto my flatbed she lets on
there’s no vet in town does reptiles,
so it’s Council Bluffs or bust.
Seems to me the cat guy, he
ought to know enough, but no,
we’re off to see Doctor Lizard.
Turns out he shouldn’t eat, this iguana.
“Poor guy’s colon’s totally blocked,”
Doc tells her. “Can’t produce
a single pellet.” I’m like, His legs,
they’re backed up with turds,
like a toilet! For the ride home,
she climbs in back to sit near
the puffy thing. Suits me:
I can stretch my leg across the seat
and drive with my left foot, if I want.

About Steve Petkus

Steve Petkus is a school librarian in the Hudson Valley. His poems have appeared recently or are forthcoming in Artful Dodge, I-70 Review, Puerto del Sol, and elsewhere. Steve holds an MFA from the University of Michigan.