the Lion

I’m at 125th street, waiting. in an
exhausted daze, took
the wrong train
again. story
of my life. next to me
a woman clutches a pamphlet
with a crudely drawn cartoon
of a lion on it.

“There’s a Lion
looking for you,” it reads.
it’s just some creepy
Xtian tract, but the phrase
haunts me. I’m reminded of
the Tarot card for Strength,
and of Narnia.

where’s my Lion? has he
found me yet? will
he eat me already, and free me
from this hell of my own
making? or am I already
inside his belly – is that why
everything feels so very

I remember last night, how
I thought for a moment
that magic might
be back in my life – that
tiny origami crane
on the floor of my train station;
watching that band I love, 
Rogue Wave, playing
their songs, old and new
(I had tickets
for two, but no one
to go with. I asked my brother
but he had homework.
so I went by myself and when I
got to the door my tickets had
apparently been cancelled by Ticketbastard
for no good reason, but I bought
another ticket on the spot, fuck them
and I will be checking that they
didn’t double-charge me. probably.
if I remember. probably
not); the nice boy
I chatted with at the merch table –
from whom I bought an ugly yellow
t-shirt because the graphic
was cute, and who was a dead
ringer for that kid on that show
Love, which we talked about –
the kind of thing that makes one
want to check missed connections

but then I remember Monday
and how much I hated myself
for hanging around, following
you when all you wanted to do
was flirt with that bitchy girl, poor man’s
Natalie Portman. I haven’t
eaten in hours, but the bile rises
in my throat at the thought of how
you sicced sickness on your self
instead of daring to share a meal
with one who would have
gladly gone with you. the place
inside me where the thoughts
of you used to live
is abraded, raw and sore and
full of bitterness now. I
don’t want to dwell there
any more.

good news, everybody!
my Lion’s here. he ate my heart
for breakfast, and promptly
sicked it up. and now I’m sick,
my insides left to rot, black
with the soul-deep cancer
of caring too much for
a beast that clearly cannot
bear to care back.

Published by

R. Brookes McKenzie

what fresh hell is this

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