Paula Bohince – IV
Tiger Licking Its Leg
Three-petaled pink of tongue. Unkissed
perhaps since cubhood,
mother long wandered, the mouth asserts calm
assurances all over the chaotic body.
On high rocks, fierceness softens, as Heaven
reverses Earth’s sins.
Furred as a bee, striations of stripes like rivers
forking nowhere. Pupils narrow
in pleasure. In the hot dawn, his whiskers,
curling tail, those danger-sensors, are put on low-
alert, in this the new day’s caress.
–after “Tiger Licking Its Leg” by Komai Genki,