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.