​​H E R M E N E U T I C   C H A O S   J O U R N A L

Z O O  :  A L L   O U R   L I O N S   A R E   A C C O U N T E D   F O R  

The Milwaukee Police Department said there had been a confirmed sighting of a lion-like animal near N. 30th St. and W. Fairmont Ave. –Milwaukee Sentinel, July 25, 2015

Growing up, we were taught the safe plots of bad dreams. Open minded, we fell for hours without hitting the ground. We treaded water, spotted a single fin, figured it might swim past us. When the fin multiplied, we awoke with legs. We pictured the word violated but ignored a beast that could tiptoe through our hopscotch, walk across cut lawns, push past the screen door that lets mosquitoes in. We wouldn’t have known to open our eyes at the hint of muggy breath. It’s painful, that lack of awareness to cross the street, to stand your ground. Our only hope was to unlock the rifles in time, to fire at any silhouette that appeared to walk on all fours. Its meat has been said to taste like rich pork, far cry from the Styrofoamed and shrink-wrapped. Better to catch dinner than be it, to turn fear into viral video cheered by all the right people.

D A N I E L   M.   S H A P I R O

Daniel M. Shapiro is the author of How the Potato Chip Was Invented (sunnyoutside press, 2013), a collection of celebrity-centered poems. He is a poetry editor of Pittsburgh Poetry Review and he interviews poets for his website, Little Myths