Coffee Table Safari

Big brown fish

made out of polished wood

varnished and carved

by a careful human hand

faces the coffee cup of history

with the cartoon chicken

standing on his hind legs

ruminating with one feathered

hand against her waist,

the other curled into a fist

to rest her chin on as she thinks

about the gentle elephant she saw

who walked in wooden wonder

with his trunk between his tusks

ears folded back with endearing

shyness enduring years.

His nemesis, an urgent, turgid turtle,

a taciturn reptile about his size

but with a carapace.

He who could stalk with

the best of predators

could likewise withdraw

with a snap

into the shelter of his shell.

He faces the fish,

the cheerful chicken

presiding over the coffee cup

between them, the big ear of the tall

ceramic mug curving towards me

east, then turning clockwise,

south, then west, the turtle

facing forward, his long, contemplative

face hovering less than an inch

above the sacred surface

of the coffee table.

A fountain made by two

giraffes, elegantly bending their necks

towards each other.  The taller

creature, maybe the male,

gazes lazily at the clouds in the indoor sky.

The female, meanwhile,

(a slightly shorter frame

for the still-distinguished dame),

leans sideways to kiss him

under the chin

as he stretches his neck

luxuriantly.

This hollow wooden heart

elongated by longing

joyfully closes their eyes

in escalating ecstasy.

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