Beasts which tread catgut to Bartok nose fourths warily as a mist sniffs first smothers later these mammals from the sleep of infancy middle age me to the viola of morning concertoed in abrupt movements against the orchestra of habit

though dogs bark in the afternoon and cats rat on them these beasts create clusters through my dreams claws tear off masks one erupts the other the wolf becomes the bear the monkey to baboon the lion turns to sacrifice the carmina of fortune

night after night this is what love is all about it gnaws at the truth of flesh and I awaken alone knowing what I want has leapt to a cadence paws in the mist in the furry grace notes of night.

Diane Stevenson Schmolka .

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