Lion

by Jericho Brown

 

I wish you tamed. I wish what you fear—
A night alone in the forest.

A father who leaves you there. I wish you
Were ten years old again. And in love

With Marvin Gaye. I wish you saw his daddy
Shoot him. I wish you asthma. An attack

In the field. A lump in your chest. A doctor
Who won't touch it. I wish you'd live forever

Afraid of dying. See the circus and be content.
Animals crawling like infants for the men

Who made them. I wish you would
Sniff a man. I wish his whip

Sharper than fangs. I wish you could know
How bite-less I feel, the mouth

I don't close, his head in my throat.

 

Poem from Please (New Issues, 200s). Reprinted with the permission of the author. All Rights Reserved.