Published in Everyone's a fucking poet! 1995
"If a lion could speak we wouldn't understand him" I am backbone and vocal cords. My shriek is a banshee wailing at the doors of civilised houses. I am afraid of the language I speak. Afraid of the jungle which is home and the dangers of men who communicate with guns and Bibles. A dialect I don't understand but whose final sound is Death. I pronounce the word Survival with my teeth. Scrape the skin from my back with a razor of gold and I will fight like one man curses another. Am I anything but anger before I speak? We both are made in the mouth. I can't find myself until I call out my own name. And then yours. I will use these words like the skeleton that moves with me. Like fingers pulling triggers. Hunger for my lion head culls dialogue like claws. I've known fierce battles of throwing spears and pointed insults. I locate my thoughts in relation to the distance between my teeth and your rifle barrel like a telephone wire. No common tongue : the bullet and the roar. I sleep with other lions. You gave us pride and took it away. The silence of my lumber walk. Snapping twigs beneath your feet. We are the hunter and the beast. Or the one and the other. I live by who you are. You live by my clenched jaw, the growling sound of fear.
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