The Lion Tamer

Oh such speed,
when I shake the lion’s paw,
and pull him by the tail
across the room,
painting the walls calm again.

She whispers:
I found you at the bottom of the ocean;
a captain who sank with the ship,
a boy splashing in his bathtub

and she pushes me under again.

Uncle says:
Always keep your hand on the rudder
despite the slack in the sail,
wear the lionskin like a blanket
on days when the sun goes missing again

There’s a moment as you drown,
when you allow the salt in,
bleaching your mind clean,
except that one precious moment –
like lead shot in your pockets –
of breaking a girl to see if she’d kiss you again.