Issue 118, Spring 1991
Blood flares from the nostrils.
The lungs, the enormous watermelon bellows,
are lined with it.
heartstalks that throb with each pulse,
each leap into air and two-beat thump
back on earth.
Their genes are a careful proposition.
They carry their sires like totems
in their names.
Their blood is as stylized as a strut.
Veins push out a nest of tubes
to tunnel the meat,
branch like ivy stems beneath the drawn skin.
Nothing in nature reflects their taut poise.