A poem by Julia R. DeStefano

Photo by Clément ROY on Unsplash

Waking the Lion

I’m a brilliant thing,

but he set free the lioness.

Finger to finger, making me his.

Now I am 2.0 on the hunt.

I tried to stamp her out.

But I’m caught deep in her -

this cat breathing heavily in the entryway.

Sweltering in the heat and licking her lips.

She is me, and I am her in heightened everything.

These words that rush through me

faster than I can write them.

Our breath exerting some life-affirming elixir.

I think of him at my desk.

Further down, my darling.

I think of him in bed.

Watch me bear my teeth.

It’s been a July full of sogginess.

Punctuated by glittering eyes

and curled fingers around mine.

But there is no word for time

and our flirtation with it.

Let us not think of the Calendar Man.

Of the hours that tick, tick, tick by

and my hapless fixation on them

because they’re full yet empty -

and in-between, clusters of worship that outshine

even the summertime rays

to make me blessedly delirious

yet so very hungry.

Desirous to lend him out no longer

because I’m not some library.

But I can see a road in my mind.

Around the corner of the wood there.

A third road for those who look.

A path to open wide,

blossom only when the phantoms of fear vanish.

My lioness lowers her head in sympathy.

Nuzzling her nose to his.

If closeness comes from mutual vulnerability -

from realizing similarities -

can we teach him to trust by believing?

To roar when he sees danger?

Guide him to victory,

and remind him to be fierce to get it?

Oh, for these ancient secrets of magic

that feel so convoluted at times

when the request is quite simple:

to become the beast

she — and I — desperately need him to be.

King of the jungle.

A rising sun.

© Julia R. DeStefano

The Red Queen in her crown. YA & adult poetry. Love & relationships. I preserve moments in the glistening amber of language. #WhirlingIntoFlame now available.