RUBEN MITA 

 

Animals & Architecture 

 

i. Bridges & Buffalos

 

The first buffalo met the first bridge

in the American continent

before grandparents.

 

The first bridge to meet a buffalo

tensed its spine

and sighed little creaks

and found the hooves familiar.

 

The first buffalo to meet the bridge

wondered at how easy it was

to reach the grass across the stream.

 

The first bridge to bear the name

of Buffalo Bridge

was built by a man from Ireland.

It was eight feet across.

 

The first and only buffalo called Bridge was born

in the moment between two centuries.

His favourite things

were the red-striped top of the boots

of the farmer that raised him,

and grass.

 

ii. Whales & Movie Theatres

 

Few whales have been in movie theatres

in the flesh, but many

have had their images projected inside them

and you’d think that on some level

they must be aware of this.

 

To make a whale-accessible movie theatre

you would need a lot of water

and some very strong glass.

 

To make a movie that a whale would enjoy

more research needs to be conducted.

Perhaps they would like to see

large swarms of krill, or other whales,

or perhaps they want something novel,

a grassy plain, a mountaintop.

 

In the hamlet of Whale, in Cumbria, England,

there are no movie theatres.

 

iii. Zebras & Pipe Organs

 

They share something between them,

the fragmented verticality,

up, down, up.

 

I think a zebra could play a pipe organ

if it knew to try,

if we could somehow

impress that this is important.

 

The cecum organ of a zebra,

located at the end of the small intestine,

hosts symbiotic bacteria

allowing them to better break down cellulose.

 

The first zebra called Pipe

might be born,

if we make it happen.

The first zebra called Organ

is a harder cause

to gather momentum for.

 

I wasn’t going to forget

the black and white keys,

and the stripes of the zebra,

lines nested in their opposite,

states defined by their duality. 



Service Time 

 

An alphabet poem after Simon Jeffes.

 

‘I am the proprietor of the penguin cafe.

I will tell you things at random.’

 

                          I am the

auctioneer at the

Baobab Cafe. I will

call you only by your true name. The special:

deep sea artichoke and foraged meat. I am the

exorcist at the

Flying Cafe. I will

grant you subconscious wishes. The special:

holy water and yeast. I am the

instigator at the

Jackdaw Cafe. I will

kill your landlords and other enemies. The special:

loaf and lumps. I am the

matchmaker at the

Naked Cafe. I will

only answer to a cheerful tune. The special:

portable roast and eglantine. I am the

quizmaster at the

Revolutionary Cafe. I will

swallow your food in front of your disbelief. The special:

trials and tribulations. I am the

undertaker at the

Volcanic Cafe. I will

win in the end. The special:

xanthic hues and sensitive medical information. I am the

yes man at the

Zoological Cafe. I will

 

ask you one more time

before we begin.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ruben Mita is a writer, musician and ecology postgrad student in Pōneke | Wellington. He has been published in journals such as Landfall, takahē, Starling, Sweet Mammalian, Tarot and A Fine Line. He loves fungi, some sounds, and trying to write poetry that plays with overlapping realities.