after Paolo Uccello’s “Caccia notturna”
The silken-haired dogs. The twining vines. Bells at the wrist, our falcons’ eagerness— What thrills me about us is the metal of our thrust, Our speed. On horseback, accompanied by trumpets, Under a bloodless moon, a moon blanched of humanity, We race as though our hearts were our targets, Quivering before us in a far-off ravine. When I grip my bow full of splinters and take aim I want to be surprised by something Sudden as Morpho butterflies Spiraling out into incredible distance Like a tongue of inaccessible summer, Then I remember my master, his training, that old grove Beyond the pond where he first tutored me In the art of venery, till I came to see How to eat the face of everything we kill Is almost an act of love.