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[So the animals are now in darkness]

Boyer Rickel

So the animals are now in darkness,

the lions, aurochs, bison, rhinoceros

painted in the Grotte Chauvet. After thirty centuries,

one brief opening to light and human eyes.

A gallery of animals that threaten—

sealed off, to preserve them.

As one might tuck the photo

of a secret love, rowing on a lake,

into a book he never intends to read again.

The mind, like a cave in darkness,

still contains the narrowed eyes

beneath the shadow of a cap, the musculature

of upright torso and outstretched arms

ribboned in sunlight above the ribboned surface

of the water. And preserves the threat.

Boyer Rickel

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