Suicide Squirrel

by Shawn Anto
I was driving down CSUB Way
minding my own business

Can I ask you something?
really              ask                    you.
Can you be honest with me?
really                     honest

a squirrel lunges
from the bushes
to the middle of the road
Fuck. What hurts?
this    emptiness?

the brakes
shudders to a halt
up-right on its hind legs
with a giant nut in the mouth
just stood there frozen, unafraid
starring               right at me

Change the narrative—not always the victim
but struggling to             struggling to
play a different character
change the story.
& let your name gather
down the back  
what you                move without.

it just ran off to the other side
into a hole to hoard away

instead of burying for more, for once
just let               yourself out
of these holes
space                  so much space
you keep            hiding under.


Artist: Clashing Squirrel

Shawn Anto is from Delano, California. He’s originally from Kerala, India. He received his B.A. in English & Theatre at CSU Bakersfield and will pursue his MFA in Creative Writing at Columbia University this Fall. He was last seen on stage in Dreamers: Aquí y Allá. Past theatre credits include The Profane, “Gasoline”, and SubUrbia. His writing has been featured or are forthcoming in Reed Magazine, O:JA&L, Mojave Heart Review, and elsewhere.