Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Heterochromia (Mengele's Dogs)

Now he is an old man
For demons never age
On a bench in the sun
In a place too warm to be home
Playing fetch with the strays
The way others toss kernels and crusts
To the pigeons and swans

They come to him when he calls
With happy tails and shrill yelps and eager
As free as gypsies and no better fed
And he pats them and feeds them and is
    withal so kind
In his old man's soul and panama hat
That only a hard heart could fail to be moved by it

Each day he comes
For each one of them he has
   a name
Some affectionate diminutive
Though none of them will ever
    amount to anything
Even their sexual indiscrimination
    pleases him
Though as refutation or proof no
    one can say

When they are sick or hurt he
    treats them
With tinctures and salves he prepares
    at home
And carries in a black physicians' bag
For the mange maybe
Or their various bites and scrapes
And always a little special something
For the bitches
When they are pregnant

How do you know it is him?
How can you be sure?
How can you be sure it is not?
Is  that all there is?
Is it more frightening like this, or less?
Which way do you see him?
It depends which eye you
     look out from
What strange permutations and infinity
    of combinations there are

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