January 2005 / Volume VI / Issue I
Anthony Liccione

Hypocrite

I met a large man at the zoo,
stench with Obsession cologne–
whom solely wholeheartedly
believed he wore heaven
around his neck and wrapped
the golden gates of five palaces
on his left fingers.
Seals squealed for fishtails.

He told me, as we observed
the hyenas sipping on logs
and pin-stripped tigers
stripping bark with their claws–
that he was a born-again vegetarian,
proclaiming the laws of God
forbids meat eating. 

With his belly the size
of Antarctica or the polar
bears that habitat there,
he argued that God gave fig                                                                       
leaves to disguise our nakedness–
looking for my approval
as a wolf in sheep's clothing.
I wondered, did he get that large
eating skinny string beans.
Monkeys crooned and swung
with dry bones.

As we strolled the landscape
in our sneakers of leather 
towards a caged vulture
I pondered, did this man digest
this testimony in one sitting?
The vulture studied us, then returned
to the slab of meat on its pedestal
as if in prayer of thanks giving,
then tore its beak into a ripped rabbit.

But I know a lion, when I see one.
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