Did the nun succumb? With one stroke, she fell,
a gazelle in my claw; but my maw desired more:
exotic meat; not this swipe at bloodless tribes of tripe.
I will not wear motley; tiger fur is paraded, not worn.
These men of many stripes: where were they born?
I will strip them to their bare bones, their lazy bones,
they would make my land their home, roam my sovereign lair.
Bare bones of lazy bones, who would ride on my back,
my glorious gold and oily black back. Go back. Go back
before I declare tigger war and take back my ten million
square miles. Find me in the Empress of India, Subaltern;
where I parade imperial, serve up new colonies. Bacterial.
Lisa Kelly is a regular host of poetry evenings at the Torriano Meeting House in Kentish Town. Publications include PN Review, Ambit, New Walk, Prole, South Bank Poetry and The Rialto. She is Chair of Magma poetry magazine.