the calgary zoo

 

what bits in the legend that arent 

on the map, a divergence of lines

 

& the wrong camera angle. 'You are Here'

beside greenhouse jungle, clinging mass

 

& crowds, a lovers hand, in the staunch heat

of the butterfly cages. watches as she steps

 

thru plastic, & i follow, & thin wings

flit quiet thru sudden anticipation,

 

landing, & perching on flowers that only

compliment colour. as one piece fits

 

so easily in the next, the humid air

fogs her glasses, but clear in the snap

 

of still october air. its a dry chill,

& walks the length of the bridge to see

 

tigers, bears, & poscard the gift shop.

baby warthogs. the rope tiger built

 

for lone male for reasons the children

are too young to know, & grandparents

 

fake. the blue water. its a long day

made longer. holds a pose & cleaves

 

to the skin wall, a membrane. sly eyes

over frayed sculpture, & bored tiger

 

decorating shore. watches loose birds

& giraffes behind bars, the refuge

 

of snakes. some things are impossible

to answer. seeks out her hands,

 

& seeks, hands, at the calgary zoo.

touching once to her back, thru

 

her sweater, wishing her sweater

not there, or the crowds. the question

 

eludes us, white sediment tears

on the glass. we are here, but no

 

further. we have always been here.

the map makes a mess of us.