Pornography for Pandas

by Victoria Gatehouse

Yang Guang (meaning Sunshine) raises himself
on hind legs, reaches for the carrot, a little higher

building muscle for the two-minute act to come,
his enclosure dim-lit, smooth-jazz dreamy,

daubed with the urine of Tian Tian (meaning Sweetie)
when last in season – all to get him in the mood,

his bodyweight in food each day for stamina
and now, a forty-inch screen, erected

beyond the bars, his daily viewing –
a male pinning a female’s head to the ground

so she can’t bite, using his other paw to hoist
her rear end up. A keeper passes, leers

through the bars – watch and learn, Sunshine.
Yang Guang shifts the dark smudge of his gaze,

slowly strips down another stalk of bamboo.