The Lion

Leonard Myburgh Airbrushed Lion
Courtesy of


The Lion


Every angel is terrifying.
                        ~ Rilke

He comes in the dark, breaks doors,
muscles his way through windows.
His wings wrap around my heart like sin.
His words run through my blood
like blood.

The morning after, an absence
has fallen across the bed—
a cavern of fear. Even rumpled,
the missing feathers prove me

Where is the lion who will eat of my heart?
Where is the lion who will dream in my skin,
stretch his paws out of this loose
hide, his limbs already heavy
with slumber?

Where is the lion’s shadow,
the only one I can look at and not go blind?
Thick-pelted, well-fed, it must rest elsewhere,
its mane gathering darkness, the weight of its wings
achingly mine.


First published in The 2River View, 18.2 (Winter 2014)

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