I mop my father’s pee from the floor
while the lion rubs against the arms in the trees.
The gentle eyes of that boy
who hit a baseball so far into the woods
we never found it.
Smell of oil sticks to my skin.
Gut churn, basement-rattle; flame-light
through seams and grate shakes shadows
on the ceiling, walls. Behind the furnace
I hide from him.
His hands: pebbles and sticks,
contours of a vanishing path
leading down through thick trees
toward the river’s roar.
I follow a man I don’t know
through a hole in a chain fence,
past the names and their years,
the forgotten city,
and come alone to a monument
of diaphanous marble: empty.
We watch the sky arrive and arrive,
so many lions running
inside the sunlight,
through the tunnels within leaves,
through our eyes, hands, so many lions
robed in gold—such soft jaws—
light devouring light.