Magazine November 15, 2021, Issue

To a Panther

(Thorsten Spoerlein/Getty Images)

Panther, I know you. All your airs
don’t shroud the dark you are,
the killer with a dahlia tucked
behind her velvet ear.
With your carnivorous heartbreak smile,
your knifish white teeth bared,
you stalk me from in front, a hunt
you’ve publicly declared.
Why do I wait here, chewing grass,
then flee in place, like a dreamer?
Why do I gaze up at the buzzards,
expecting some redeemer?
Panther, you are the night I dream in,
my black snow daze. You play
and pounce, you tease and purr. My breath
is yours to take away.

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Amit Majmudar is a diagnostic nuclear radiologist who lives in Westerville, Ohio, with his wife and three children. The former first Poet Laureate of Ohio, he is the author of the poetry collections What He Did in Solitary and Dothead.

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It’s all familiar and boring, the recasting of an American archetype into a new mold to instruct, because they can’t come up with archetypes of their own.

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