Her mind wanders, distracted

Play on, you would,
if not for the feeling
someone else has been here already
or her already
with the momentum of the windborne
planned out, or not, uniting sight and line.

How: in a moment the hand flutters between
tenderness and treachery,
fingers deciding,
gentle leaves can soon retake the muscle memory
and shout like bellows,
palpitating organ song.

Rise and surrender
and play,
play on or pause,
or breathe and huff.

Other have chosen before, little gods
scratching for toys,
this one quivering silently on the glass:
winged and wingless, ruled from above.
You could be choosing freedom, as you play skin
against hard skin, hand to life,
gambling whether it will rise
or fall.

Party Animals

Breakfast on the relics of each jungle night
where now they feast on headphone juice,
unclenching feet from rubbing cages, tight
leather traps, heels and straps now loose.
How gripping close a coat might reveal
the sour chill, enchantments too soon made day,
rhythm of yesterday’s animal ordeal
or aftertaste of yawn-ripe kitten play.
No guidebook exists, nor an Audubon Society
to catalogue and collect their number:
these stripes and spots have no deity,
bending only for that dark horse, slumber.
Between the strobes and twisting light,
pouting for selfies with halogen so right
for the scent of lens flare, a fierce pose,
a tribute: this zoo will never close.

Owl Hours

What a gleeful chest of stolen images,
Waking life grants us its treasures
For wondrous taking, bestows a

Swaying form: an owl astride a wire, a
Turning, curious figure above the
Abandoning dark, the dust-weight of
Night ascending slowly through the hues

Like a child’s playful hand delighting
To run fingers over coloured pencil tin,
Feel each barrel’s braille-story sing
From heaviest blue to the lightest

Daylight where we feed on afterimages,
Years string together living dreams that
Dwindle to be reborn in our owl hours.