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Puffed Up

From wax, Leonardo
formed a doughy mass,
and when it softened,
he shaped it into
delicate animals
filled with air.

He blew into them
until they flew into the air.
When the air was exhausted,
they crashed to the ground.

He cleaned the intestines of a sheep so they could be held
in the hollow of his hand.
He attached them
to a blacksmith’s bellows
and blew them up
until they filled with air
and grew transparent,
expanding into the room,
until everyone watching
had to crowd into a corner.

For a peculiar lizard
caught by a wine grower
of Belvedere, and given
to him as a curiosity,
Leonardo made wings from skin
pulled off from other lizards,
which he filled with mercury.
They quivered and trembled
when the lizard moved.
He then made for it eyes,
a beard, and horns.
He tamed it and kept it
in a box and terrified
his friends with it.

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