Hood

A master leads his slave
           through the bar,

the slighter man bound
           to his lodestar

by a leash hooked
           to his collar,

every surface of him swathed,
rubber, leather,

hard to tell in this light.
Little slits in

the hood , almost nothing
of him visible.

They look, I think, ridiculous
— but something

compelling about it, too.
That you can see

only the outside, the absurd,
elaborate clothing,

universe of buckles
and straps,

every bit of the body
sealed away,

so nothing of the interior
can be known?

From a distance sex looks,
inevitably, awful:

what’s less graceful
than transport?

Face focussed
to a single point,

clenched, contorted, or the mouth
stretched wide —

Therefore this exterior’s sealed,
blank, so that we might

guess at what lies
beneath: happy abdication,

the will locked down at last,
unable to choose

or to act. Who knows?
&nsbp;Impenetrable,

what’s paraded before us.