My wife and I went to London Zoo to celebrate my 32nd birthday,
lockdown was unravelling, but thraldom still prevailed,
yet – as I alway say – empty is as empty can
so we felt justified in this small treat of public disquietude.
Do animals feel lonely without people checking in on them?
I swear it’s true, at least by the way the lions flexed for attention,
while drizzled monkeys ate their melancholy greens.
Even the tortoises seemed out of it.
But, honestly, it’s the gorillas’ view I sought more than anything.
I’ll go on record here, these animals are next level.
Game start / character select / full power / yes,
here in their single-outsized, queen-sized cage of a home.
It was the right cage, I double-checked the portraits, placed
in sight like propaganda on a prissy relative’s mantlepiece.
Home with salad on wood tables, toys for play, beds for sleep,
Through the glass, it was clear the only thing missing is them.
No noise marked their brand. No clichéd Hollywood chest thump,
no teenage matron stressed at feeding time, nor flushed dad
nudging his partner; affectionately sizing-up his chances.
Certainly no lovemaking, windows agape for all to see.
Sex that afternoon was faunal, the hardest we’ve gone in months
power in pushes / she prostate / sell air for redness / roll-over,
spent, I root about for an old towel to clean up the mess
and ponder on the nature of looking in.