Cows, you know, are actually quite camp,
like little else in Ireland,
at least outside Dublin. Men here
aren’t too comfortable with that sort of milarky;
even gay ones – especially gay ones.
have little smiles riding over their mouths,
and their eyes are just too too humanly delicate.
To picture their eyelashes in strict proportion
is to cartoon them.
It’s the beef that
traverses their backs which is the aptest reality:
lines which support by weighing up against
a lifting drop.
The true cow-angle,
dehorsing it, comes on the concave nose
slides down to approach the soft fist of the mouth,
Driving around, trying to find some cows to draw
I find cows, when they can, draw away from roads.
After I get close, they give me a quarter-hour’s
grace of inspection-their wedgelike heads
face me full-on, but then turn their
backs upon me, haunchy as hell, and tantalize
with occasional momentary profiles.
Though cows have no idea what being drawn is
I know they know they are being drawnthis
is an exceptional form of human attention,
it doesn’t involve touching, milk, measurement or pain,
and it makes any normal heifer go decorous,
holding the moment cosy as long as she can.
If I were human, she seems to be saying,
I would be a lady, not just a woman.
Despite their almost constant farting, cows have other,
more refined airs to maintain.
All of them, I learn, are undiscovered stars.