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