lit issue 2020

Maybe I’m A Lion

I’m not good at the flowery or the make-believe 

In keeping the vines that threaten to spread beyond the arm’s reach 

I only have two eyes, and one sad mushy slop in my head 

Two hands with which to grasp at—to tear and pick 

In as many ravenous ways as possible 

Maybe a leg or two to run

Into the liberating depths of the forest

To stumble and fall in a lasting heap 

Bare-skinned belly just making it out alive 

With the last grumble that wakes the bees  

I struggle to understand that divide 

Between the sun on my feet 

And the earth within my nose—each finger-picked, plushed nostril 

Where I can drink from the lip of the bottle 

And snarl barbarically at the fork and the knife 

With the hair that’s perpetually tangled and

Where I have the most ferocious tongue 

They say there are lions, but 

I am only the most tamed kitten 

I hear their honey-tuned strain full of strength 

And can do nothing but shiver and hide 

I wish to let my claws sink in, 

To rip and shred—feel the blood pulsing under my nails 

To lick the wound that I have created 

And to cry like thunder with the clouds in my throat 

No matter what I get I won’t ever be satisfied 

I desire the wither of the flower’s bloom

Nestled within the graceful turn of the earth

And the pleasure that exists outside the walls of the cage 

Where there is no perpetual darkness 

And everything is worth the sun  

With the world as big as it is 

I can spread my fingers, stretch my arms high in the sky 

And breathe my last breath in the unreal