I prefer you as a potentiality,
the tease and hunt rather
than the taste of blood
from first bite.
It’s always so disappointing.
I’d rather salivate from afar,
the honey dripping from my mouth
and drawing you closer, ever closer
to my slaughterhouse.
Even with all my camouflage and mimicry,
I’m still a predator, and I must feast.
The voyeurs in their safari trucks will report:
Now look there, mates!
That wild beast must be absolutely starving!
They rarely roam this far from their homes.
And, awh hell, he must be damn desperate, too.
Animals of his caliber only ever eat that prey
after all other options have been chased away.
See how he cowers when we notice him;
his pride must be suffering terribly this season.
In lion prides, it is only the female who hunts.
She stalks better, knows best when to strike
and when to otherwise tarry,
patient for the perfect opportunity,
unsacrificing in her practiced, savage ritual.
The males are too large and too loud,
their manes alerting all to their presence.
Each lioness may run to him for protection
from time to time, but they could survive
fine without him, if they had to.
Should they grow thin and desperate enough,
they would likely, easily turn on him, outnumbering
and devouring his boastful, excessive body.
But they like to keep him around
as an alternate source of protein,
something fresh to preserve their strength
when the wild hunt proves to tiresome.
He does not know how close to death
he lives his life. His harem keeps him
distracted, just the way they like –
with tear of tooth and bloodied fur
far from his sated, foolish mind.