Touching the Tiger

by Oonah V. Joslin


Tantalising, close it lies.

Would you like to touch the tiger skin?
asks the man in the pith helmet.
Every tiger is unique.
You know them by their stripes
a different pattern every one
remarkable.

Shaken loose
there its ears
and eyeholes.

I drop
the thing.

Lost
its living gold and roar
patterns
torn asunder
darkness
dread and threat
declawed

discarded drape of a tattered tiger.

No breath.
No tiger breath.
No rippling gold.
No bold feline predator.
Behold

the fearful
asymmetry of death.


Copyright © 2013 by Oonah V. Joslin

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