—after Richard Brautigan's "A Candlelion Poem" What began as wildfire ends up on a candle wick. In reverse, it is contained, a lion head in a hunter's den. Big Game. Bigger than one I played with matches and twigs and glass in the shade. When I was young, there was no sun and I was afraid. Now, in grownhood, I call the ghost to my fragile table, my fleshy supper, my tiny flame. Not just any old, but THE ghost, the last one I will be, the future me, finally the sharpest knife in the drawer. The pride is proud. The crowd is loud, like garbage dumping or how a brown bag ripping sounds like a shout that tells the town the house is burning down. Drowns out some small folded breath of otherlife: O that of a lioness licking her cubs to sleep in a dream of savage gold. O that roaring, not yet and yet and not yet dead. So many fires start in my head.
Copyright © 2012 by Brenda Shaughnessy. Used with permission of the author.
Brenda Shaughnessy was born in Okinawa, Japan, in 1970 and grew up in Southern California. She is the author of So Much Synth (Copper Canyon Press, 2016) and The Octopus Museum, forthcoming from Alfred A. Knopf in April 2019.
Date Published: 2012-09-12
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/big-game