Abecedarian for Lion King

by Michael Landreth 

As soon as you outgrew your baby
carriage, divorce. It did not end
everything for you; flesh follows its grain
even under hardship. So here you were,
an irrepressible jump-roper, lion king
toy stuffed inside your jacket, kid leaving
for first day of school without your mother.

Maybe now your memory
is different. Not outraged like me,
you pity her for the mold
she can’t kill in her shower tiles,
for the nails holding up
her front door, the only place
she can afford, only
place she is welcome anymore.

Quick, remember the last question
she even responded to. What was the secret
she taught you? Was it something you trusted?

Sixteen and tired of understanding,
your venom welts us both.
A barely contained violence when you throw
off your blankets every morning
I wake you up. Viperous silence
you wield axe-like. Young razorblade,
unlucky virgo defending her contribution
which only exists in your zodiac.

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