In the cabinet carriageways of La Specola
the concierge struts like a bantam,
past the mounted crickets
and pickled hens,
by the tussore coated orang-utan.
He fetches his washer-wagon
and lumbers
under its trilling momentum.

The caretaker, picking pinned beetles
like blackberries,
and dusting with a dabbled feather,
inspects the animal upholstery.
His cart’s clay wheels squealing,
he scours the forcemeat hounds,
the jaguar’s dry jowls.

Besom whiskered washer-man
with wattle dithering,
lowers his ostrich plume,
drawing his
bleach and whisky britzka
through an avenue of wax wombs.

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