Colleen O'Brien

Ruined Lion

Mane of moss,
maw simplified to toothless
shrunken gums. Demoted to
a phylum worse, some white-eyed
sucking worm. His mother’s
belly must have burst, she’s melted
to her throne. Has crying done
that to her face? What turns
stone to loam?

Colleen O’Brien’s short stories and poems have appeared or are forthcoming in North American Review, Sonora Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, CutBank, and elsewhere. She lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan, with her husband, Brandon Krieg.