Amy Pence

How to Build a Vivarium

Step One: Decide what animals and plants
you want to keep. This could be a problem.
The rabbits eke out a living, hunker under
my suburbia. I am nevertheless
well acquainted with a thousand

incarnations. Ever scrupulous, I prune
the daimons from their husks, lift moss,
pluck the masks from the sentient.

In this ecosystem, equilibrium is essential
and all the beasts
are quarantined. When I peer
into the center, I detect
the tropical and interlocking

amy pence


Amy Pence authored the poetry collections Armor, Amour (Ninebark Press, 2012) and The Decadent Lovely (Main Street Rag, 2010).  She’s also published fiction, book reviews, interviews and essays in Silk Road, The Conversant, The Rumpus, Colorado Review, The Writer’s Chronicle, and Poets & Writers, among others.  She recently  won the Claire Keyes Poetry Award from Soundings East. For more information, visit