1802 c/o Christopher Morgan

From the start of day until the gradual announcement of night, a leopard stalked from one side of its cage to another, eyeing through iron bars the men and women and shrieking children, each dropping their nasty, clanging coins inside the copper mug to look upon the leopard. Their clothing reminded the cat of a feeling it did not know, could not know, of the outdoors and its startling greenery, the deep blueness of a river, or the gushing redness of still-twitching prey—but still something roared beneath its spotted skin, demanding an action. And so one day Borges came before the leopard, steadying his cane as he said: “You pace inside this chamber that will be your grave so that a single sentence may appear centuries from now as people search for events centuries before them. You suffer a mockery of your potential existence, but you’ll have given inspiration to a single poem which has its precise place in the universe.” And though the Leopard understood its destiny during Borges’s speech, its mind soon returned to swift anger as it saw the man nod and quietly walk away.