She got every single thing she wanted
by avoiding smiling liars like me.
She knew better than to trust these jackals,
with their arrow eyes and teeth like cold air,
with their laughter, their true-sounding laughter,
about lions who didn’t make the kill.
The lions, they say, don’t come until dawn,
long after the last child has been felled,
after the loin is stripped from the giraffe,
after fear cuts time and shows time to fear.
But Elizabeth, when you spoke to us all,
book in hand, not sure who would save you,
you turned right to me, reached just for me, “John.”