one should never choose to be solitary--
sitting, considering old lovers,
particularly if you spoke French with her
and she told you it reminded her of home.
I have worn red shoes until it's no longer becoming.
I have swirled and spun continuously
until my body told me it was done;
until my heart riding inside my bones shouted in my ear,
saying what should have been obvious to any idiot--
Stop. She's gone. They all are.
I turned on tv, the nature channel, looking for distraction.
Perhaps some brightly colored birds,
up to their beady little eyeballs in gorgeous song.
What I got was a dust storm of dumb beef on the hoof--
a dozen cape buffalo who had a lion trapped against an embankment.
They were murdering him
despite my cries
despite my horrified tears.
Those of us who love lions
are a different breed.
In the cathedral, I spat the wafer on the floor,
wanting steak, bloody,
and an hour in the sun.
My German-born French-raised lover
objected to the flies who constantly plague me.
She didn't like the blusher I favored
when she found out it came from the hearts of the herd;
she climbed me as if the world were vanishing beneath her feet,
and only fucking me could bring it back.
I have resolved
never to love anyone again who works around cattle, as she did.
I keep thinking of the lion--
though it was hopeless, he was magnificent and fierce.
Though his body was being ruined, horn by horn,
he seemed, more than anything, to be insulted.
Here I am, on the floor, my cheek against the carpet.
It is New Year's Day,
the sun is coming up,
my knees ache and my right foot feels fucked
in some indeterminate, but painful, way.
All the same, you bullshit ballerinas better step aside.
Come sit by me, Ghost of the Offended Big Cat.
I'll get to my feet and hide my own injuries if you'll do the same,
and the big bright thing will have to rise across our turf and tremble
if it wants to keep its date with the sky.
for Kerry's challenge at Real Toads
if anyone knows who should be credited with the image at top, please let me know.