Animal Serenade

Elegiac ferocity spins its own yarn, the wayward axis
ripped and tore itself, into decaying ribbons of silken
wrestling out of pliant form – an awkward mantis

First; a hair-crack,
dooby-a-doo wop gone by the smoky river –
then a sundering sadness that approached the great stench;
you know how wolves howl for
that inky, silent black

And I watched a man slowly hack himself in two –
The glint of a rusty penknife caught my eye;
His mottled skin
buzzed and crackled,
with spattered blood on dogs’ paws;
well and truly tortured,
as I remembered his dry ripostes –
“45, Mississippi,” I heard him once say,
To a rather humbled, pink-faced pew

“Where’s that man now?” you ask,

Well, I..really don’t know, boy…

I don’t know.

All I know is –
I last saw him stagger round a corner, and then
a wondrous burst of light,
like how the heavens touched
or like
the fluttering of Icarus’ feathers,
as he might have meant.

“D’you think he’s up in Heaven then?”

“But I don’t know, boy…”

© Zelda Reville





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