Maps Of Hell
When I’m down on all fours,
looking into a kennel or cage,
I find a pair of luminous eyes
on level terms, close to mine.
They watch me with extraordinary emotion,
and I realise
I’ve met an animal, face to face,
on equal terms, orbs of terracotta red
just inches from mine,
and I realise,
either one of us could be looking into a mirror.
Silence and colossal stillness pauses
between us as I stare at the eyes –
alien and familiar
at me as I gaze into the den.
Then there’s a blush between us,
because the beast has to turn.
It turns away, from what it sees,
ashamed, or so it seems, of full recognition.