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in the ring with lions,

right where she wants to be

this housecat

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It takes immense faith to take one step toward the Lion in the presence of the Lion.
—Rumi

When you arrived
I did not see the lion
crouched behind you,
did not feel the warmth
riding on its breath,
did not see the teeth,
the nostrils flared,
the glorious golden mane.
I only saw your smile.
And would I have run
toward you the way I did
knowing what I now know,
that its jaw could open wide
enough to consume the world
whole. And now you’re gone—
just disappeared—
sweet bait that led me
to the lair. And I’m
down to flimsy things
I pile between me
and his yellow stare.
Is the storyline inevitable?
Did all paths lead to here?
So few steps between us.
I pretend to hide all the same.
The hollow wish to know
what happens next.
Devoured by a lion?
Have I gone insane?
Rosemerry, it was
a metaphor.
I listen as his long tongue
slowly grooms
his paws, his wild
oh, it’s beautiful, mane.

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