but bears with honey-coloured faces,
which when enticed with crisp-fried noodles
will perform a clumsy pirouette
or lie with legs extended and vulnerable parts unnaturally exposed.
Meanwhile a Bactrian camel blinks his long-lashes and dreams of caravans and marches through a cold desert
and an old black chimp remembers another time - of chattering from branches, and leaping from trees -
instead of this concrete pen with a fugitive mouse.
By the lake, meanwhile, a crane spreads his wings
tends to an itch
then watches the world with an evil eye.
A Pere David's fawn - timorous, inquisitive, vulnerable -
is smelt by the tigers who wipe their lips - futilely - foiled by barriers and ditches.
The mist turns to rain.
Soon now, the skin of the old black sow will surely shrink to fit
and the gardens
and the city will be hidden behind this moving mesh and veil
and grow smaller.