Jacqueline Balderrama

Melanie Griffith and the Lion
by Jacqueline Balderrama

—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.

Jacqueline BalderramaJacqueline Balderrama grew up in Redlands, California. Currently, she is pursuing an MFA in poetry at Arizona State University where she teaches and serves as Poetry Editor for Hayden’s Ferry Review.

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