Caged

 

I suspect there’s more to you than the slow squeal of swings.
1976, when you worship everything, snake through
eucalyptus bushes, swing from low branches, fraying ropes.
You, a lion. Hooded mane. You watch the excited faces of children,
adults who turn into children. Zooish taunts and mimicry. You,
all sprawled out on the flat rock, a lair meant to resemble
your natural habitat. You watch and wait. The urine-smell
of dark space, steel tube rocket ship slide. Rusty rebar
ladder to the stars. You can’t climb fast enough. You can’t.
That’s when you split in two. Practice your roar
at fawning crowds, sometimes lift your shirt, peel it back
to expose your soft underbelly. The spear’s target. You wonder
how your heart can beat so fast. You show your teeth when
the whip cracks flesh. Your heavy paws turn soft though claws
could break bones. You know love is extinct. You just know.

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