The Tiger

When the drums struck

the alarum was the force

of dark eyes bleeding through the shade—

the cold hangs from every leaf,

the brush and stroke teaching

every motion how to breed

claws appropriate to the man-shaped

trails carved into the wood

She parallels without red capes

some wanderer left to packs

shunned for pale skin thickened

behind world-inked fur—

the lines, if only they knew the lines

time had bundled to Her breast

holding in pieces of Her

as She bloodies Herself in details;

haggard is the fall

but sharp the tongue,

curled up the spine as She bends

low, low, savoring the texture

of the wild on Her paws—

low, low are the drums

to the primal song of Her.

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