for Carlos Hernandez, on his birthday


many are the wonders

of our waterlogged city


one turquoise coat: canal-colored

velvet-silk, with silver lacings

one silhouette of lagoon-maid, sleeping

on mossy steps, hair wet and

red as a painted door

one mask, black as cuttlefish served

in its own ink

one glass stylus, one glass dagger, one seal


then the circus came

and all these marvels



she knew at once

Pasiphaë’s passion, and burned


to behold the Rhinoceros


calm, oblivious beast

mighty in his withers

ignorant of woman

who groans behind her mask


by double-horned desire

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