Stacie McCall Whitaker - Stone Coast, Maine

Rhesus Monkeys Don't Actually Love Reese's

Written By: Hillary Kobernick

All the monkeys have shoulder blades
but also a metal pedestal, attaching
a silicone third arm in its plate.
The scientists call this the future.

By scientists, I mean Carrie, until she quit
two years ago. “I feel like I’ve racked up
enough bad karma for one life,” she says.
The silicone erodes, eventually,
from trying to pick up so many
banana slices and the monkeys
become what they are trying to cure.

Not death. Just disabled. They think
this is where the future comes from.
The scientists do. We haven’t asked
the monkeys. This is where my grandpa’s
next toes are taught to balance.

The future is unpopular with PETA
and more and more with the NIH.
Too many euthanized monkeys
and not enough fake fingers
with fine motor skills. The future
is full of amputated paths not taken,
a forest of silicone lollipops.

Carrie is now getting her Ph.D. in depression
and bad administration. Carrie is an atheist.
She doesn’t actually believe fate is causal,
that the universe administers anything
like justice. But she doesn’t believe, either,

there is a future where monkeys forgive us,
where they give generously for science
and hold the good karma without suffocating it,
laughing at our bumbling digits, artificial and homegrown.

About the Author

Hillary Kobernick - Poetry - Rhesus Monkeys Don't Actually Love Reese's & Day 532

Hillary Kobernick writes poems for both performance and page. She has competed at the National Poetry Slam six times, representing Atlanta and Chicago. She holds a master’s of divinity and currently pastors outside of Chicago. Her poems have appeared on Button Poetry and in literary magazines in the U.S. and Canada including DecomP, Bellevue Literary Review, Barely South, and FreezeRay.