High overhead, they have always circled:
ravens, vultures, Angels—who knew
what they were? But he always heard
the ravening cry drifting above the edges
of days and dreams. Child and man he knew this.
Still he prowled the savanna, feasting on
his rivals until the savanna was his, and
all the gleaming females in the heat were
his harem, eager to accept his kingdom.
And still the creatures circled overhead,
days and nights. Child and man he knew this.
At last, to complete his grip on the kingdom,
he pledged one gleaming female who bore his
perfect cubs. And he and she were happy until he
crept on his belly to the gleaming females in heat.
Then overhead dark voices filled the skies with
his depravity. Every child and man and woman knew it.
The ravening winged creatures swooped in wildly,
talons ripping; they drank the blood in his cheeks
before it fell; their thirst would know no end:
they tore his flesh, screamed his sin until
he fled the peace on the savanna, for his shame
was endless. Child and man he knew this.