There is something inherently sad
in the image of 23 pandas being held
by 23 Asians wearing 23 identical blue
johnnies and 23 identical blue breathing masks.
Held for a photograph.
Set on a green felt stage.
Six inches off the grass.
Pink Chinese letters in the background.
Maybe they spell out “Happy Birthdays.”
Maybe all 23 of those pandas share the same birthday.
A small miracle for a dying species.
All being made to face the same camera.
Not a single panda is sitting still in the arms
of those 23 Asians. 23 pandas as restless as my leg
in the dead of night. I think they must know something
my leg knows but isn’t sharing.