Brien Turner reads
The Baghdad Zoo
"Is the world safer? No. It is not safer in Iraq." -Hans Blix
An Iraqi northern brown bear mauled a man
on a street corner, dragging him down an alley
as shocked onlookers shouted and threw stones.
Tanks rolled their heavy tracks
past the museum and up to the Ministry of Oil
A gunner watched a lion chase down a horse.
Eaten down to their skeletons, the giraffes
looked prehistoric, unreal, their necks
too fragile, too graceful for the 21st Century.
Dalmatian pelicans and marbled teals
flew over, frightened by the rotorwash
of Blackhawk helicopters touching down.
One baboon escaped the city limits.
It was found wandering in the desert, confused.
By the wind, the blowing sands of the barchan dunes.