The Lion and the Bear

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Maybe my wife’s the lion. Maybe I’m the bear. Maybe the bars dropped down around us. Maybe we built the cage. Maybe we’re supposed to gnash and claw each other to a bloody end. Or maybe we’re meant to sit in our separate musks until our fur turns gray teeth drop out. Maybe she keeps the key tucked in the vortex of her left ear. Maybe it’s buried in my winter coat. Or maybe there is no lock and the door swings open with a nudge.

Maybe I’m the lion she’s the bear. Maybe I should join a circus she find a conscientious zoo feedings four times a day. When crowds on weekends gather, maybe she would recognize her spouse among the fathers with their kids staring from the other side of inch-thick glass. And maybe under the big top I would see her as my trainer, wielding the whip and chair then carefully poking her head in my killer mouth. Daring me to bite down.