The children’s chatter ceases at the turn between
the sea-lions and the anacondas.
Neither bright cries in sparkling water
nor sinister sway of sinew frightens them—
but they still before the darkened glass.
The pacing death knows they are there
The leopard is full feline wild,
lithe as silk or woman.
Darting, it jumps upon itself as tame
as any eager hound in the house,
as dangerous as the child too calm
playing with knives.
When we come home,
the smaller leopard is tight-hunched over the pale carpet.
The arched bridge back, every essential vertebrae a key-stone.
Her confession lies there between the frayed stack of
newspapers and the lamp, small and silent
as a bird without wings.
© 2015 Anna-Christina Betekhtin, All Rights Reserved.