Composite Tiger

Amanda Calderon

It was so wide you thought it was a cinema.
It was his foot. Each toe was the head
of your national bird, sprung from the mouth
of a jackal. Each thick leg,
a jackal’s wily torso, tail
tickling the ribs and hooking the thighs
of a farmer tucked in the neck,
clutching his goat—man and beast agape.
It played a newsreel across its spine:
decorated horses on march. They come upon
a writhing blue elephant
the size of a man, its trunk
locked with the tusks of a wild boar sloshing
about the belly on its back.
A bitter war. Everyone suffered.
Here, the sky grows red with embarrassment.
Life’s work is to lie in wait.

 

Read another poem by Amanda Calderon in the Kenyon Review Mar/Apr 2015 issue, on sale now!

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