by Greg Lehman

The best way to measure the worst
is how much the divine
gets treated like shit,

gives a goddess a cough, you,
Nadia, four-years-old, already
a forest of black stripes,
lethal grace
without peer,
and fire in the prison
that is every zoo
and private owner,

you’ll be fine,
say your keepers,
like this is a good place
for you to be kept
and exposed you
to COVID-19,

yes, kept in from the wild
that would indeed kill you
if you were released
back to what you were born for,

the same wild we took
and keep taking
and will keep taking tomorrow

while you pace the perimeter,
another edge we keep scaling
higher, and hotter,
like we can win,

we will not, we might not
win this,

we keep burning
with every excuse
to crush and contain
more of what’s better
than we
will ever be.

Greg Lehman earned an MFA in creative writing from Lindenwood University and a BA in journalism from California State University at Fullerton. He has published and edited as a professional writer and journalist, and his independent work in this medium, as well as recent poetry, video readings, and artwork can be found at Loud Owl and on Instagram. His poetry has appeared on the Power 2 the Poetry Instagram account, Ink Smith Publishing’s blog The Inkwell and Quill, and Heart magazine. He also enjoys writing short stories and novels, as well as playing with oil pastels and pencils on occasion. The art that accompanies this poem is his own.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s