Electric phoenix, temperamental pet:
Cradled by pockets, it would die unseen
While crosses and gravestones darkened the screen.
If you practiced, your love could be reset.
Shell of appetite, of family, of rest.
Its sheen wore off beneath your anxious touch:
Proof of a lie you later proved auspice,
When you wished for nights you might still reset.
Mom said it’s not your fault, you did your best:
The same condolence with which she’d lament
The hamsters starved, the goldfish overfed.
You learned on your own what can’t be reset.
By Michael Prior, from Model Disciple (Signal Editions, 2016)