Tiger, Hyena Still At Large ~ Sunni Wilkinson


In the aftermath of the flood
that freed the zoo animals
in a city big as Detroit
on the other side of the world,
the gates clattered and the mud
bloomed.  Men led a tranquilized hippo
down the street and reached
for monkeys in front yard trees
like college buddies
rounding up the gang
when everyone’s had one
too many.  When the prophets cry
The Lord is coming! I see the hippo
and the men with their hands
on his back
walking out of the waters,
and all the lost
souls floating at the gates of the zoo
and the keeper’s reckoning:
only two

missing, while the pair of shadows
stalking streets at night
or crouching in alleys
for weeks torment the city
and all that time
the living locked at home, eating
their last bread and the news.
The tiger and hyena
wild with delight: blood
on their lips,
apocalyptic grins.