Tiger

by Tess Jolly

My lover prowls the room watching me write.
He is poised beneath thick sleek hide,

which senses my fingertips tap keys
as forms rise behind glass – settle into chains.

Moonlight seeps through a gap in the curtains
onto his fur, the bands of orange and black.

In the space between lines, I imagine
going to him, resting my head against his heart

to hear words echo in the cage of his bones.
I imagine curling into the pads of his paws,

his warmth, our muscles flexing as we sleep,
then I tilt my face to the cold bright screen.

My lover presses his tongue to the scruff
of my neck, hot mute breath rises with my own.