"Black Panther" by Paul Hawkyard; for more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/pages/Paul-Hawkyard-Wildlife-Artist/106364439463463

“Black Panther” by Paul Hawkyard; for more information, visit
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Paul-Hawkyard-Wildlife-Artist/106364439463463

Panthered

by Michelle Lee

Somewhere among the years of child, we lost
our roars and became
nocturnal, taking to our technology
and separate corners when daylight closed
behind blinds. Our offspring still
sleeps spotted, belly full of what we bring
home bleeding
in our teeth.

Exactly when did we become
endangered?

It is said male cats avoid
females outside breeding:
each to their sleep-number
each careful of
the tributary dividing
the king-sized bed.

The leap would be treacherous.
There is comfort in territory
and solitude.

She finds us in the morning
by following the thick
in the throat, her father holding onto slumber
like bones, her mother poised
for the hunt.

She does not care that our readiness
to mate has grown
silent—waiting. We have eaten
each other’s vital organs: heart,
liver, kept the rest for cache.

MichelleLee

About Michelle Lee

Michelle Lee received her MA in creative writing and PhD in English Literature from the University of Texas at Austin.  Now, she is an associate professor of composition and creative writing at Daytona State College in Florida. Her writing has been published in a variety of academic and literary publications, and she was nominated for a 2014 Pushcart Prize in poetry.  She is also a member of the poetry editorial team for Rivet: The Journal of Writing that Risks.

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2 Responses to “Poem”

  1. gwenpurvis

    That is a fantastic poem. The picture was drawn perfectly; the comparison was good; the extended metaphor made me shiver at the end. Thanks!

    Reply

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