When they take flight and it pleases the tiger to stalk

eagle’s wings pounce on them here and there

yellow torn from the sun

And his desire is toward me

According to how they come back to earth

eagle tiger or deer is last to breathe

then off to drink

This is when, of a sudden, the clock reveals an hour

 

*

 

Another Sunday pointlessly spent sharpening every knife in the house

There will be no sacrifice of the deer

instead a face for the sun

and forgotten the scent of saltpeter spewed by the old walls

The animals spoke no more

Their reciprocal rite stretched out at altitude

As close as can be to slow water, to an ungoverned flow

neither of the two was my intention

 

*

 

All the animals lie in wait

almost immobile in the depths of the bedroom

Between the two no more linen to exasperate

no black leaf, no air

They hold tight between their salty bodies

that which will escape them

An incomplete perspective

reduces them and draws them

as charger and cart-horse

as country sun-charred

but for now lost and softer

By paths of equal languor

their hands open as the aloe

stretch out taut as vines

And then she pleads

a hushed voice imploring, sizing up

finish me, finish me, finish me