Poem for the Giraffe Marius

upon his execution by bolt gun at the Copenhagen Zoo

Because, they said, genetics. Et
cetera. Said
inbreeding. Because
when the steel bolt retracts, the giraffe’s
skull crumpling
in on itself like a cup, blood
from the heart circulates ‘still
in the edible flesh. He felt,

                                we are told, nothing. Not
the bolt’s cold lobotomy. Not
Not his slack body hauled
to the stage. The Danes
—babies in the arms of their mothers, in one
photograph a dad with his son—have come
hungry to the zoo’s cruel—
they call it—lesson. The lions

                            beside the stage circle.

read more

-Christopher Kempf

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