Peacocks & Lions

There used to be
peacocks in the south—
read some O’Connor,
she’ll tell you—

& lions roamed
all over Europe,
if you believe
the internet. And I

have to, don’t I?
It’s everywhere,
knows everything.
The culmination

of human knowledge.
Some bright
shining light but
it can’t

tell me why
my stomach twists
when I think about
how there are no more

peacocks in the south.
It can’t tell you why
more answers
doesn’t necessarily mean

better answers. It can’t tell you
how to bring back the European
lion or why that matters.
Do you see

that copse of steel,
that concrete stream?
Or, is your vision,
like mine,

filled with the ghosts
of long-dead animals?

Evan James Sheldon’s work has appeared in CHEAP POP, Ghost City Review, Pithead Chapel, and Roanoke Review, among others. He is an assistant editor for F(r)iction and an Outreach Assistant for Brink Literacy Project.

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