Adam Crittenden holds an MFA in poetry from New Mexico State University, where he was awarded an Academy of American Poets Prize. He also serves as an editor for Lingerpost and Puerto del Sol. His work has appeared or will appear in Whiskey Island, Bayou Magazine, Metazen, Barn Owl Review, Matter Press, and several other journals. Currently, he teaches writing in Albuquerque.
We expect him to miss
a part of himself that is not himself
and I expect myself to wish
I had given birth to a snail,
but I don’t do it because I am selfish.
You tell me that that’s classic me—
wanting the benefits but none of the costs
of letting a gastropod suckle in my blood
until my kneecap skin expands
Maybe fifteen years from now the boy will remember
what it was like to have a pet
growing inside of himself,
depending on its host to be kind. Or maybe he
In fact, I see him now
riding a subway to his cubicle
where the internet forgets his story
and the snail is long dead,
its cells and molecules spread
across the city like microscopic tableaus
for a scavenger hunt nobody cares about.