Equatorial Triptych

I. Dawn: Spider Webs

Thunder running riot through the black foliage…
At dawn we straggle out like shaken
Shopkeepers fearing ruination,
Who’ve lain awake all night shuddering
At the breaking sounds of revelry—
Struggle out to meet, everywhere, shattering
Confirmations: gray cracked panes in every tree,
Dozens, hundreds, sums beyond assessment.
The cost of repair?—the damage done?
Nothing—nothing but day itself,
The open, bottomless mine of the sun,

Could indemnify us.

II. Noon: Two Monkeys

Overhead the argument escalates
Quickly. Nuances may be
Lost on those unversed
In this particular gibber
But not a creature in Creation
Would mistake its gist: the exchange
Commences with an I don’t like you
And soon mounts (more raucously bright,
Their flying voices, than a macaw’s,
A toucan’s, even a rainbow lorikeet’s
Festoonery) to a Your very

Existence outrages me.

III. Nightfall: The Serpent

A pit viper, so we’ve read, can, elas-tically gluttonous, engorge a meal
One-and-a-half times its size.
Something similar’s unfolded
Here… Out from under slumped
Trunks, beetle-riddled mulch, the bully
Pulpit of a termitary
Mound, a preying shadow
Slithers and, in a black flash,
Swallows the forest whole.
Well. The difficult part’s done. Now,

Night need only digest us.

This article is available to online subscribers only.
Please choose from one of the options below to access this article:

Print Premium Subscription — $94.95

Purchase a print premium subscription (20 issues per year) and also receive online access to all all content on nybooks.com.

Online Subscription — $69.00

Purchase an Online Edition subscription and receive full access to all articles published by the Review since 1963.

One-Week Access — $4.99

Purchase a trial Online Edition subscription and receive unlimited access for one week to all the content on nybooks.com.

If you already have one of these subscriptions, please be sure you are logged in to your nybooks.com account. If you subscribe to the print edition, you may also need to link your web site account to your print subscription. Click here to link your account services.