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You should wonder what the necklace of your 

fingernails and teeth look like worn

for instance    by the bear that ate you    more

likely than not    very unpolished    or

a cave wall hanging

                                  too skinny    rug even

peeled open for the floor, 

                                            more belts and wallets 

were bears enamored of accessories, 

what with the sun-bleached tip of each hair

to flop back and forth through their fur

an iridescence    wind-like through a field,

how redundant you are in addition, 

useless   if aesthetics have no nutrient,

but then    you might not even have a beauty

to collect, have anything to do with anything except 

                                                       the way you see

You should wonder what a necklace of your teeth

would bring among the animal trade

                                                                            your ears

war criminals among your own were known

to string like cowries 

                                    of victory              your genitals

in jars on desks your conqueror kept 

to terrify their sharecroppers—

but animals

don’t keep containers outside their bodies 

as their mess; 

                        you should wonder what your bones

drape like in their stomachs

          what your eyeballs light 

in their digestive fireplaces

          what your prune liver

makes them shit   like jewels delivered to the earth

their gifts for fertilizing the dirt—

you should wonder whether your ideas 

of beauty are as generous. 


Ed Roberson

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George McWhirter

The Jaguar

translated from the Spanish written by
Homero Aridjis