Animals Inside of Me

A lion I was
Cowering under the 
Stairs like an old crow,
The beast in my house 
Thudding down carpeted stairs
Right above me.

I whisper to myself that I am the
King of the jungle as I grip the
Knife in my hand tighter but
Blood drips onto the wood
Beneath me 
I was holding it the wrong way but
Pain doesn’t matter now, I was 
Built with padded skin and rough
Calluses meant to weather a thousand
Storms as I climbed up the tallest trees,
Blood can’t kill me but the beast can.

The thumps I hear between prolonged silences
Like I am the elk dawdling in brown grass
Suspecting but unsuspecting of a movement in the 
Fields on the other side of the expanse. I dip
My head low and think about the water my 
Throat is aching for but a second of rest means
A life wasted when the elk has died and I have my
Knife stuck in the chest of the beast.

I can never rest when I need to live, that’s why 
They call me queen of the jungle.
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