Behemoth - Poem by Diane Hine
Bluestone backed, puce bellied and cicatrix gashed,
the hungry bellicose beast comes out at night.
Honed yellow lower incisors and canines gnash.
Stay in. Never risk crossing his line of sight.
He roams, hours and miles until first rays flood.
They flay, though his skin is inches thick. They prick.
A seepage which air burns red, yet isn't blood
stipples and sheets his iron with rusted slick.
Hide like armour drapes his prominent spine
and wraps his muscles. He's dry-season lean.
Solid leg bones are diver's weights. Saturnine,
he guards a daytime haunt looped serpentine.
Light slips across his skin in quivering scallops.
Fear his temper, his clicked and rumbled discourse.
Admire his fluid, full-stretched sunken gallop.
Behold the hippo bull, the river's untamed horse.
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