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Winter, 2005

Brendan Constantine

Hyenas in the Temples of Pleasure

---------(for my poems)
        "...Wild beasts shall lie there, and owls shall call there, and satres shall dance
           there and hyenas shall cry in the temples of pleasure."

                                                                        Isaiah 13:21 - 22


Great feet. Spectacular teeth. Eyes
that are sideways to everyone
but God.

I sing and they laugh. I make them
partners and they dance. I feed them
my city's dead

and they stay.


Only their sleep disturbs me. When
they are not laughing
or killing

but piled ear and testicle in marble
corners, breathing a decibel beneath
the fountain's purl,

I am eaten alive.


Dawn the owls call themselves
to rest. Quickly, for nothing
fanged is slow,

my gray animals rise and flicker.
And together we go, each
barefoot thief

to steal water.