Sometimes We Break With Eachother

Last night you dreamt

that your lover spent

his nights as a tiger;

stalking amongst trees, paws

leaving indents across the earth

that if viewed from above would

show he paced circuits

around your home, getting

closer and closer but never

coming in. You dreamt his

growl breaking the darkness

and knew that if he ever got

inside then his claws would

leave punctures on your shoulders,

perfect cuts where blood would

rise up and then his tongue

would make you raw as he tasted

the beating of your heart, that

salty copper of your veins, and you once

read that a tiger’s tongue can

lick the flesh right off of his

prey; a slow removal like peeling

the skin from an orange in

imperfect strips.

Last night you gasped

yourself awake in terror;

studied him asleep beside you,

his chest a rising fall

calmness of peace.

You poured water over him,

a lesson half remembered,

but he still would

not change back.

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