Chimpanzee Enclosure

by Jennifer Compton

So he said — “Sorry.
We’ve already invented the space rocket
and the symphony orchestra.
So.” He said.

            a glass cube
            out of the weather
            with ‘enrichment’
            tyres on chains
            a gantry of boughs
            titbits stowed
            in unreachable niches
            the makings of tools
            strewn about
            on the cement

Two grown men are stripping twigs
with their meaty hands,
sullenly poking for a ‘tasty morsel’
with dumb intent.

They don’t appreciate
his comments.
They shrug a shoulder against
his alpha species nonsense.

            a box of glass
            the elements distant
            the green aura
            of growth
            the tedium
            of scrutiny
            the thud of
            a stranger’s

It’s an uneasy business, staring
through a wall of glass
at our cousins. Impious and

“So,” he said. He moved on
to stare at an animal
he would eat

            a young woman
            rushes me
            a deep glance
            through glass
            she entreats with
            an astute gesture
            I am her chance
            but I can’t
            she stoops and sits

Jennifer Compton lives in Melbourne and is a poet and playwright who also writes prose. Whatever, however, you know.