He Runs

in a limitless world
where panthers fly,
a lion slips his cage

barbed bars tear his fur
rend his hide
still he pushes and
 pries and wrests
himself
              away

he runs

his silver mane
     (a prize beyond measure)
unfettered in the wind
his dusky breath
     (so used to whispers)
paced to strides both
quick and strong

he runs

the circus strains
     (hurdy-gurdy orphan bands)
fall away behind
the chattering throngs
     (sycophantic chimps)
fade to dust across the
burning veldt

he runs

he smells her
     (clay and musk and blood)
one of his own
lithe and powerful
     (bone and flesh and sinew)
silent and alone
lying near a pool

he stops

the end-day sun
     (hail-red earthen sky)
bounces off her
golden back
     (supple coat aglow )
to blind him
where he stands

he stares

whether by choice
or chance
she does not
                       move
an echo flex
of one firm haunch
the only sign of life

he steps

a soundless hunter
      (hungry, aching)
a silent leap
     (graceful, sure)
and she is his
her tameless body
     (alive awash)
heaves against his weight

he closes

jaws upon her shoulder
teeth puncture
                           scars
that match his own

he thrusts

pounding deep inside her
quivers, shudders
                                screams
that meet his own

he falls

and all is
                still
until

she moves

crawling from beneath
to rock his
     (oh-so-heavy)
head in her splendid paws

You must return, my Lion.
     (a canting purr)
The cage awaits.
And the circus
                        cannot
continue without
                              You.

he stirs

he stares

he stands

he roars

he runs

© s rogers 13 June 2009