Lay for the Day
the Zoological Gardens in Regents Park, better known as London Zoo,
opens its gates for the first time.
In the Snake House, over scummed
raise their heads and stare point-blank past those who pay.
Some lie thick as tyres, asleep. Inertia
doesnt exist behind their glass. They dream
no dreams. If we tried to live there, pressure
would smear us thin as our reflections seem,
margarine-yellow and with hollow blue bruises
for eyes. Their wills police their whole bodies
and their heads are hard. One green one cruises
lithely from a pool, its eyes regardless
as split-shot. They move so slowly, time loses
heart. We fidget in coats, thinking weve spent
our money well, only later to relent.
They shouldnt live there, and die, and not kill.
you wonder where the last rhyme went: this is part of a sequence in which
the end of each poem rhymes with the first two lines of the next.
Lay Reader: an archive of the poetic calendar
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