Pounce

I never knew I could be so unkind.
Even now, seeing the body
move in on itself,
slow slink, shoulders
stealing small breaths
above the high grass
rustling with hunger,
I ripple
with doubt.

Times like these,
there is always a moment
when you think
the smaller thing might live.
Skink, shrew, child-self
wide-eyed & unknowing.
You think it might, should,
has to live.

I wake, pulling red
from between my teeth.
Times like these
there is always a moment
and then it passes.

I tell myself
the kill is my survival.
I steady the doubt.

I am ready,
primed for the pounce.
I am sharpening my edges.
I am crouching in the grass.
I am small again, thinking
I might live.

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