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It had a pulse, the rhythm of a blinking eye,
and breath that blew over our faces.

A thrown bucket of sand discerned its shape
but the sand was mute
and could think only of glass.

It had eyes, took hold of whatever peered closely,
and whatever mouths answered did so only for themselves.

It sat in the aviary, where it flickered
like a candle suckling on the air,

knelt in the tigers’ enclosure
and peeled away the rinds to reveal their coal bodies.