[The Negro Attacked by a Jaguar, Henri Rousseau, 1910]
The Monkey and the Cow in the Jungle
His words are tamping footsteps
sounded over rattling rain.
Rhythm washes strokes on soft ground printing
meaning in his jungled path.
Her bovine eyes hang lidded, wide,
her milky breathing like a swollen ocean,
His monkey hands throw symbols up
around his creatured face
as lows in sliding tones roll out of her.
His ring of full brown lip drops down
and lifts to bare the teeth that gnawed at sugar cane,
at dogs, at cats and then the nightly field mice,
those teeth, those careful finders
seek in crevices of bone for slivers,
leave not one unpicked.
He shivers furry, monkey maned.
She lumbers to him up the path, tumid-breasted,
warming to the hunger.