My Hair is a Tiger

These thin bones, wooden spoons that are
Stirring me. Should they clack together
Music shall clap and clatter;
I am a one o’clock in the morning rock café
Of heated castanets.

My hair is a tiger.
It pounces in the night. It prowls
Across continents, some bodies shifting
Like the Rajasthan sands; be careful now and listen,
A single curl may cut you
For it be a claw.

My pressed lips may draw your blood.
My tapping fingers will hold your tongue.
I lay down, and fold the day in two,
To put the note in my breast pocket
To secure a heart ad infinitum.

I roll and roil, wade and wander;
I walk upon the surface of fire,
My skin peeling as the cool birch bark.
My sinew and skeleton glowing hot
As embers and smelted iron.
My legs are columns, red and korinthisch.

What is far, I shall make near.
Should a table sit between us
I shall tip it, and
Break the air
Between our gripped eyes.
When I run, know I bolt as gust and flurry.
Four points confine me and a jar
May seize me, but in a hand I cannot be held.

I sprang from the wilderness;
I cracked and poured out from a seed.
My raised brow,
It be a forest,
It smells of underbrush and mist and sage.

A gypsy once said, that should I die,
The last instrument that will sound will be the drum.
Full, and richly deep.
A tormentor. Thick as dragon’s gum.
A landslide’s thrum.
Alone with my darkness, I will be
As broad and defying as the sea.

First published on Poet’s Corner April 12, 2016

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