The old carpet with its Byzantine border
matted threads of burgundy and gold
ornate snowflake eye-of-God center
has a motif of predator and prey.
There are four ceremonial huntings
woven reflections in right-angled mirrors
a ring of Indian tigers mounted on deer’s backs
teeth sunk continuously in their necks.
The magi mediate on the rug’s middle
until the medallion draws them in
until they disappear
through its dilated pupil.
A cigarette has made a nickel-sized hole
big enough to peer through if the rug
were worn as a cloak and hood.
The cigarette scar’s burnt edges
seep into the fiber
like a puddle’s narrow edge.
The hole to nowhere, slightly left
of the mystic’s gaze.
Tooth mark the tiger left
The tapestry is devalued,
I’m ripping it off the wall, crouching
in the corner, swaddling it over my head.
Peering out the nickel, now
I am the center of the universe
wrapped in a skin.