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Lions Are Interesting

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Each morning in the little white cabin
by the river they woke to a raccoon
clawing under the floorboards or banging
in the wood stove. They did not discuss this.
Instead they said it was a perfect day
to pick blueberries on the hill, or that
a hike to the old glassworks sounded good.
They were beginning to speak not in meat
but in the brown paper the butcher wraps
around it. Brown paper around dirty
magazines. Like dirty magazines, they
only traced the contour of substance: silk
over skin, skin over muscle, muscle over
bone. What's under bone? Marrow? Their forks so
small and dull. As if for dolls. You can tell
dolls from animals because the latter
are made of meat. Many eat it, also.
Lions are interesting. Lions don't eat
the flesh of their kills right away, but first
lap up the blood, until the meat is blanched
nearly white. White as the little cabin
by the river they stayed in that summer.
White as the raccoon covered in ashes,
his black eyes bottomless and bright with hate.

Source: Poetry

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This poem originally appeared in the February 2004 issue of Poetry magazine

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Lions Are Interesting

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