In the Taxidermist’s Shop
Every animal, so I’m told, has enough brains to tan its own hide
‒ Clare Dunn
Pale ghost, you are a palimpsest of yourself,
an Arctic fox doomed to two-dimensionality by death
and the carelessness of the taxidermist’s work.
The domed glass reflects back the moon of my face
looking at you looking at me. Mere trickery
of the light or something more sinister
in this sinister clustering of death? These endless
birds in their vitrines are in unrequited love
with air and flight, tethered by glue and hopelessness
to an eternity of standing or perching when they
could fly out of this mouldering shop
on Nevsky Prospekt, if only death (or is it life?)
would allow, and away over the Neva River.
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