Blood flares from the nostrils.
The lungs, the enormous watermelon bellows,
are lined with it.
Legs conduits,
heartstalks that throb with each pulse,
each leap into air and two-beat thump
back on earth.
Their genes are a careful proposition.
They carry their sires like totems
in their names.
Their blood is as stylized as a strut.
Veins push out a nest of tubes
to tunnel the meat,
branch like ivy stems beneath the drawn skin.
Nothing in nature reflects their taut poise.