The Great Ape House
Chicago's Lincoln Park, "Second to None"
Languid as passengers on a liner at sea
the gorillas live here in endless ease.
Weighed, inoculated, unscathed and
more beautiful than wild animals
they toll heavy headed.
No need to forage now. Safe
from slash and burn farmers,
they wait. Daily
at 10 and 2 there is a tropical rainstorm
complete with thunder and lightning.
Otto, the shy silver-backed giant,
genitals modestly hidden,
"has the strength of ten men,
the intelligence of a four-year old."
Like the very rich stirring in deck chairs
to a chimed call for first seating,
the melancholy, black-leather faces turn,
red-eyed and pensive,