Horrible Abcedarium | R.A. Briggs

A is for Annelid, squirmy and tubate.

B is for Bloodybelly Comb Jelly Lobate.

C is for Cuttlefish pulsing with pixels.

D is for Durian brushing its bristles

with odorous toothpaste, and E is for Eels.

F is for Flatworms digesting their meals

in sacks, tubes, and branches, since G is for gut.

H is for Hairy-Nosed Wombat whose butt

is for crushing its enemies. I’s for Ichneumon

(the wasp, not the mongoose) who’s known for consuming

its prey from the inside. And J is for jaw worm:

minute interstitial worm, ready-to-gnaw worm.

K is king cobra. A Lamprey is L.

M is a mean Myxozoan from hell.

N is the Nudibranch, ruffled and graceful.

O is the Osmylid, patterned and laceful.

P is the prickly Ping-Pong Tree Sponge.

Q is for Quoll, who will scavenge or lunge

at live Rats (for the Rs) and live Snakes (for the Ss).

T is for Tunicate Pyura chilensis,

the stone that gives blood. U is Urchin or Uni.

V is for Velvet Worm, undulant, puny,

abundantly slimy. The Wobbygong, W,

hates being teased, and if stepped on, will nibble you.

X is for Xeno Crab, nubbly with pocks on.

Y is for Yew tree, who murders with toxin.

Z is for zebra shark, bitey and bitter. It

won’t read this alphabet, since it’s illiterate.

R.A. Briggs teaches philosophy at Stanford, has a great dog, and writes poetry for fun. They are the author of Free Logic (University of Queensland Press, 2013) and Common Sexual Fantasies, Ruined (Cordite Press, 2015).

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