The Wayward Orchard / Paul Sohar

About the Author

Sunfish Pond
Requiem for a Refugee Camp
Summer Past
The Geese Were Gone
The Wayward Orchard
Mount Katahdin
A Tour Without Virgil
The Ravished
My Dream House
The God of Spring
The (Last) Party
The Secret
The Other
This Wall
Little Night Music
Being and Its Skin
Grandma’s Silence
The Ruler of the Mirror
The Silent Dreamer
Keep It Simple
Canyon Dreams




The lions arrive by motorcycles long
before Daniel sneaks alone into the lions’ cave;

it’s well into the happy hour
when the din unloosens his prayers,
he doesn’t have to be afraid of the sound
of his voice if he can’t hear it,

and he already knows what the lions will have to say
and how to nod…

And when they start to maul his face, his neck and lips,
he sticks out his tongue too,
so he will never have to say a thing again

as a lion drags his helpless body in a corner of the den
for the final bites to be consecrated….

and Daniel feels his soul spurt out of his mangled
offering, the sweet swelling of the spirit
gobbled up by hairy mouths, his goose bumps
torn off by clumsy paws
                                       to reveal a new skin
purified by well-rehearsed fast dreams,

but soon he expires in convulsions
that shake his whole existence, his dasein —

Later, he showers his dead body,
or what’s left of it,
already thinking about dinner.

Cheek to cheek, jowl to jowl, with the lions.

  © Paul Sohar, 2011


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