Kamilah Aisha Moon

Shared Plight

Bound to whims,

bred solely for

circuses of desire.

To hell with savannahs,

towns like Rosewood.


Domestics or domesticated,

one name or surnamed, creatures

the dominant ones can’t live without

would truly flourish

without such devious love,

golden corrals.


Harnessed. Muzzled.

Stocks and bonds. Chains

and whips held by hand.

Ota Benga in a Bronx cage,

Saartjie Baartman on display—

funds sent to her village

didn’t make it okay. Harambe,

Tamir, Cecil, Freddie—names

of the hunted, captives

bleed together. The captors

beasts to all but themselves

and their own.


Two endangered beings in a moat

stare into each other’s eyes.


Slower than light, mercy

must not survive entry

into our atmosphere, never

reaching those who lose

unbridled lives

long before they die

in this world of zoos

and conquerors who treat

earthlings like aliens.




“Shared Plight” appeared at poets.org and is from Starshine & Clay (Four Way Books, 2017)