Sometimes I’m the lion, and sometimes I’m the doe. When you make me mad, when I’m passionate about something, when my blood is racing so fast it’s roaring like a hundred white rapids, I’m the lion. My curly hair rests, curl over curl, twenty rolling masses protecting my vulnerable neck and masking my exposed heart. But my hide won’t be thick forever, sometime I have to lay down in the sun. The heat wears on me and before I know it my lashes are caressing one another. My paws grow too heavy to pick up and I’m rooted where I stand. I’m tamed and I fall heavily, like a building drawn too far into the sky. Pride is strong and stubborn but it is short lived.
And then I’m the doe, prancing around dead leaves and snow melting on my nose. All at once I’m intentional, nervous, and vulnerable. I look so innocent, standing there. I don’t make much noise but you watch me none the less. At first you enjoy it, you’re entranced. You want to draw closer and pet me, run your hands along my long back. You watch my every movement, the mucsles on my legs running smoothly like water in a shallow river. No sound, no rocks to hinder it.
But then it grows cold and that river turns to ice. The seasons change and you’re not a boy anymore. My grace doesn’t matter to you. You forget the fact that I mean no harm; it’s erased from your mind as if you never knew it. You forget that first snowfall and the joy of the first flurries settling on the ground. You pull out your gun and you shoot me, a bullet to the heart.
And all at once, you’ve taken everything I ever was, a proud yet vulnerable thing. And with one fatal blow, you turned both hearts into shrapnel. Because when you were a boy somebody let you play with a gun and pretend to shoot imaginary pigeons. And when you grew, you forgot who you were shooting at, who you were hurting. You drew me in because you loved me, because I loved you, because you made me feel wild and tame at the same time, and just when I walked into the clearing, you punctured me with lead.
This is a throwback, something I wrote nine years ago.