Love Story Retold as a Safari

Morning wind brings news of a kill.

Across the veld, a gazelle
gives up its bones
to the good red mouth
of a lion,

escapes the clean prison
of its fur stripes,

and lifts, new spirit,
out of the dust:
redeemed, radiant.

On our way to the oasis
an armada of giraffe

floats quietly into a harbor of trees,

stripping the green
with rigorous lips.

What would we give to touch
the black roses rambling
across their necks,

their underbellies like pale fur tents
above our heads?

A body of water at sunset
holds the face of day
for a long moment.
Flamingos stick to its surface
like scattered petals.

Beyond the flickering fire, a constellation of eyes.

One or the other keeps watch.

--Spoke 2013


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