the spirit skunk

please do not lean on doors i never lean
on doors and barely tread upon the grass
but having shed most of my substance i
live at the outskirts of a zoo as yet
without full residence rights but with high hopes

the city visited by us while still
of blubbery mortal stuff is a half-way house
a thing to lean on tread upon and touch
urged not to but presumed to be enticed
yet once a proper coat of fur is grown
whiskers and wings and opalescent scales
one who may seem the very skunk transfixed
between the headlights is in fact a witness
from an impenetrable world apart

some of those canvases by edward hicks
have images of children in them bigger
than beasts themselves perhaps too full of pride
and blood emitting stale animal spirit
unlike the true spiritual animals
not predators or raptors anymore
yet game to no one either will they ever
settle themselves in plato’s bestiary
with the polonium lion the blue tooth
blue jay and oxen chiseled out of stars
the ghostly pastoral of time to come


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