Homage to Beasts


The Peregrine Falcon

Wings back flat, talon and talon,
all eye and beak and feather,
he descends through a sea
of air, splitting down
through the grasses
to a warm point
of flesh.


The Mosquito

The male, who is larger,
will not penetrate your skin
or drink your blood,
unlike some other insects,
the tick, for example,
or the honey bee, but it’s hard
sometimes to tell when one’s buzzing
your head, just what sex it is
if you don’t have a very sharp
eye and know just what
to look for.


The Siamese Cat

Aloof as one can get
without leaving the earth,
and not without reason
considering the coat,
sealpoint or chocolate,
which she got from her mother,
and the legs, which came down
on her father’s side,
not bad looking at all
and perfect for jumping.


The Slug

What a sticky trail he leaves
on the dew-damp two by fours
out behind the garage every morning
as he passes from damp place to damp
place, from darkness to dark,
a tumescent green snail without
a shell, or some disembodied penis
coming home late from work.


The Catfish

Found in almost every kind of water
except clean, and some survive there,
one variety has even started
walking, for miles across
the roads and open fields
of Florida without provisions,
yet despite, or perhaps
because of such propensities,
the whiskery critter,
which has no scales,
is a perennial favorite,
deep-fried in a crisp beer batter
on lazy summer Sundays


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