By Mona Arshi
Read by Tiffany Gray
How unstable and old he is now.
Lion, like God, has snacks sent up
by means of a pulley. Although
you can never master the deep language
of Lion. I am made dumb by the rough
stroke of his tongue upon mine.
Nowadays I make allowances. We lie
together and I hear the crackle of his bones
and when I bring myself to open my eyes
he weeps, his pupils resembling dark
embroidered felt circles. Sometimes
I think all I am is a comfort blanket for his
arthritic mouth. But many evenings he’ll sit
twisted behind the drapery solving my
vulgar fractions with nothing but his claws.
Lion and I break bread; I tend to his mane and
he sets a thousand scented fuses under my skin.
He starts undressing me under the sweetening stars.
Please girl, he mews; this might be the last time
I will see how the thin light enters you.
Directed by Matthew Thompson.
"The Lion," from Small Hands, Liverpool University Press, 2015. Copyright Mona Arshi. Reproduced with permission of the Licensor through PLSclear.