Like the Phoenix, he rises out of ash
from the chastening fire of his rage.
How sweet the sting of her linguistic lash
confining his wild tiger to its cage.
Fleet-footed carnivores prowling the plain
must seem no fiercer stalking helpless prey
than him, smoldering, making her maintain
control of him. He’ll doggedly obey
her every whim, as though her verbal whip
exacts his shamed submission to her rule.
And he’s afraid to move for fear her grip
will lose its feral hold on him. He drools,
while she keeps pacing – following his rout –
like she’s inside the cage and looking out.
Frank De Canio was born in New Jersey and works in New York. He loves music of all kinds, from Bach to Dory Previn, from Amy Beach to Amy Winehouse, and the poetry of Dylan Thomas. He also attends a Café Philo in New York City.