The imagination, improvising, translated burly leather 
into an overcoat of armor, converted brawn to iron. 
For wrinkled folds, die-tooled metal plates 
secured with welded struts. For mottled hide, 
stamped medallions and, bellywise, rippling bursts 
like sunspots Galileo’s glass would mark a century hence. 
A submarine should be riveted so impeccably. 
A Swiss vault should be this stoutly tamperproof.

Chimerical and mechanical, one foot in biology 
and the other in technology, Europe’s debut rhino 
poses on a patch of stylized turf, outsize toenails 
planted squarely at the crosshatched intersection 
of hearsay, surmise, awe, and steely virtuosity. 
Making the most of slender evidence, the Master erred 
on the side of industrial-strength intimidation: 
spiked shanks, serrated hindquarters, vulcanized anatomy.