Ted Cruz Stares Down the Possum on His Back Porch

again. It’s been stopping by around ten every night and pressing its pink snoot into the sliding glass door. It is unbothered by the motion-sensitive light as it waddles up to the house. It is similarly unbothered by Ted when he comes to the door to see why the light has come on. It reminds Ted of a cat he had as a child. Actually it was the neighbor’s cat—a fat thing that went door to door asking for hand-outs. And Ted secretly gave the cat leftover lunchmeat. When he’d finally tried to pet the cat’s belly, the orange tabby had kicked and bit and Ted vowed to never trust such a creature again. It had made him bleed. Ted knows that, given a chance, the white-faced menace currently on his porch would also make him bleed. Possums have so many teeth. And with all of those teeth, this possum is smiling at him. Head titled, weird little rat ears perky in the fluorescent glow of that stupid light. This possum would gut him with it’s creepy little hand-feet, Ted thinks. He won’t give it the chance. A door clicks shut inside the house and Ted looks away for a minute—probably one of the kids getting up to use the bathroom. When he looks back outside, the possum is waddling away, nasty pink tail curling behind it. Ted closes the blinds and wanders back to bed hoping he remembers to call animal control in the morning.

E. Kristin Anderson is a poet, Starbucks connoisseur, and glitter enthusiast living in Austin, Texas. She is the editor of Come as You Are, an anthology of writing on 90s pop culture (Anomalous Press), and Hysteria: Writing the female body (Sable Books, forthcoming). Kristin is the author of nine chapbooks of poetry including A Guide for the Practical Abductee (Red Bird Chapbooks), Pray, Pray, Pray: Poems I wrote to Prince in the middle of the night (Porkbelly Press), Fire in the Sky (Grey Book Press), 17 seventeen XVII (Grey Book Press), and Behind, All You’ve Got (Semiperfect Press, forthcoming). Kristin is an assistant poetry editor at The Boiler and an editorial assistant at Sugared Water. Once upon a time she worked nights at The New Yorker. Find her online at EKristinAnderson.com and on twitter at @ek_anderson.

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