“Jealous Schnauzer Bites Sleeve Of Owner As He Hugs His Dachshund,” etc., etc.

Cousin Sheila tells me she’s thinking of sending
the videos she’s already posted on Facebook—
where her tabby and calico shimmy up walls, sleep
in sinks, lick the insides of her nostrils—
to a Facebook friend, ’cause he hasn’t commented—
though she always sees his posts of dogs,
and reacts enthusiastically as they deserve.
That one of his guilty beagle among the feathers,
after he’s shaken a pillow to bits, is just
hilarious. But how will she look if she messages him
with the URLs? I really wanted you to see these,Paul. Desperate? Sheesh.

Oh, don’t be so snooty, reader. Tell me you haven’t
gone back to your posts and clicked again
on the likes, loves, and wows, to figure out
which friends clicked what, and reread the comments
as if they were blurbs on a possible coffee table cat-antics
book, or erotic collection of limericks, perhaps?
Tell me you haven’t wondered why even doomy subjects—
in verse, or on video—like the helpless pet nearly drowned
when his owner’s Corvette was totaled in an Ian-caused flood—
garner oodles of cares or sads, while other posts languish
like gardens in the heat, only occasionally visited by a bee.
What are the heads of the other chins
tucked into their chests looking at, clicking on
that drives them to Ohh! and Love it!! and Damn?
We need a study that gives us the skinny,
and also reveals—though it might make us wince—
the critical mass of comments, the tipping point
that brings on the all-time internet blow-out.
Once we’ve had out fill of animal shenanigans,
family, news, poetry coups, I’m sure we’ll flip through
for a few more minutes free: of the all-year fires,
the ice sheet’s melt, the seas’ rising,
the terror of politics, the plague’s survival,
the rapid decline of civil society,
and the near possibility of World War III.

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