Embryonic snarls herald in lover’s ear;
panther and viper like a traveller coming
leafing the ice channels of winter roads.
with the warm and wired pattern of their bloods.
As it were, the eye locates its zoo
and the new captives catch old echoes,
reprint the stamp of “very good” at school.
and cages now crestfallen eagles are,
the bars of wings huddled to the side,
and the limp glint of lidless eye.
curses the fingers of passersby
whose torments of cheap peanuts
shower the bird’s heart like bullets.
The amorous alligator, glutted with lust,
sinks its breast in the mud of sleep,
mictating membrane winks a century
of irony at the sunlit pulse of death.
All this I remember, and spring too,
and lovers walking solemnly
between the rows of classified cages
to that drear eventfulness prepared for them,
the hollow cage, the straw, their patient tread,
the keeper on his bicycle at dusk.
Never remembering the wings that wept
they strut the cages of their dead desires,
monotony more aching than a thigh,
—and see the Sunday promenade—their love—
and with no mute voice urgent to cry
“Stop'” night and organised jungle descends:
the half-perception blurs: the eagle does not know
the beauty of his heart has been on show.