Leveler Poetry Journal
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Night after night I have dreamt of a lion that lives in a tower. I could have slain it with my sword. I call the lion a dancing bear. I call the lion cowardly if it does not perform on stage. I call its mane a beard.

It would be hard to make a peaceful woman dream of a lion. If, while asleep, she heard someone say, “Look at the lion,” she would either wake up or she would not hear. She would not dream of a lion.

I have dreamt of this lion for years. I hear the lion’s approaching steps, as if a part of my dream, even while I have said, “There is no lion in this dream.” But still the lion comes, his face expressing fright. I wake to worry that I cannot slay any creature.

When awake, I pretend the lion’s fur is the same as a dog’s whiskers. I pretend I make the lion roar.

Alison Strub