donnarkevic poetry


Diorama, Carnegie Museum

Extinct, two Barbary lions exact
one last lashing out at man,
the camel’s wounds incidental
as suffering is
to a death by hanging.

Survival no longer exists
in the lexicon of the condemned,
except for the words
cowering in the courier’s satchel:
perhaps a peace treaty,
perhaps a letter of condolence,
perhaps a message of love
in dire need of response.

But the echo of footsteps
in an emptying museum
remind me I am a visitor
in the surreal crucible
of art and savagery.
And when the moon of silence
eclipses all language,
the only survivor may be the animal
incised on the ceiling
of some peopleless cave.