—after photographs by Michael Rougier
In bed with the lion: they sleep, each covered with a blanket. The lion’s tail
plumes out from under and falls to the ground.
in bed with the lion: they are awake, watching each other and the set
of plastic ponies on the long, thin shelf of favorites.
in bed with the lion: they are pretending to sleep—one from her mother,
one from his nature that has secretly never left.
in bed with the lion: one is awake, watching the other sleep, considering how
the live-in trainer asks residents—mother, daughter, lion—to not provoke it.
in bed with the lion: they are waiting for the photographer, waiting for the pool
where she can pull his paws over her wet hair like a heavy brush.
in bed with the lion, apparently named Neil: they like to believe in a world
that would allow such things.
Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 17, Issue 3.
See all items about Jacqueline Balderrama