Acceptance – Mark Mansfield

                     He prayeth well, who loveth well
                     Both man and bird and beast.
                     —Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Serenity tattooed on her left tit
in her Facebook Profile Picture: how serene
was her kitten she doused with gas, then lit
on fire while her playmate filmed this scene?

Three months in jail. Now cannot torch or get
another pet, pled down from two years’ time,
itself an atrocity, if judged to fit
the crime. And what of the crime? The crime

is humankind is anything but kind.
Who granted the lighter,
                                                       then flicking it,
tossed it on warm fur soaked with gasoline?

Mark MansfieldMark Mansfield’s poems have appeared, or are scheduled to appear in Bayou, Blue Mesa Review, Canary, The Evansville Review, Fourteen Hills, Gargoyle, Limestone, Magma, Measure, Peacock Journal, Potomac Review, Salt Hill, Star*Line, Tulane Review, Unsplendid, and elsewhere. He was a 2015 Pushcart Prize nominee. Currently, he lives in upstate New York.