Monkey doesn’t want my mercy.
I offer him a grape and he grabs
for my hand, mouth hungry
for something other than fruit.
I would take the kitchen knife
and cut his tether,
but he doesn’t trust the shine
in my eyes: reflections of red
wine, a slow, syrupy assimilation
into a world of white lies and chocolate
smothered in guilt paper.
He would rather try his own teeth
against the metal O ring at his waist
until they snap, or it snaps
and he can finally throw himself
through the grasp of his former masters
and disappear into the papaya forest
behind the house. He will not be gone,
though. At night, his small face
will press against my window
like an open palm. He is out there
waiting for me to put down the knife,
to harden my own teeth
and join him.