Wednesday, February 25, 2009

king of the jungle

my aunt gave me this bottle opener when she came back from africa. the handle is made of bone, the smoothed tooth of a lion now gone. at the root now fixed a metal heart shape from which i crack many a beer. carved along the side the lion is mid-hunt, stalking toward whatever end he met. i like to think he's still out there, minus the tooth, but it's fixed so final, carved and smoothed and sold off. there ain't much hope for him. i scratch my head with the tooth, thinking what damage it might incur had the tooth still been attached to its owner. its just a thing now, no longer fierce, once torn through meat but now inert. an item in a drawer. necessity to novelty. maybe he got old, starved, too slow to hunt. maybe they cut him down in his prime. it's a trinket now, and will probably never serve me the way it did that beast. there is still a strength to it, a quality that recalls its former prowess. the curve of the tooth evoking the snarling maw. as if it might reconnect with its master and suddenly become a force to be reckoned with once more. maybe he still waits for it, poised like the carving on his own detached tooth. across an ocean and lost to new meaning.

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