From the time I was a cub, I knew how to roar.
My mother lit a fire in me before my paws touched the earth
And maybe I’ve burnt things down.
Arson is a crime, but love is not.
I was taught to love all men,
And yes, I say men because I didn’t have to be taught to love a woman.
I innately understood that men were to be feared
And women to be revered,
But my mother told me to look past the pain
Because agony is blinding and a lioness needs her eyes to hunt.
I have learned that there is a difference between heartbreak and disappointment.
I am heartbroken because she left,
But I am disappointed that you cannot accept my right to love in the first place.
I suppose you can decide which is worse.
Though I warn you, with bared teeth, that there is a wrong answer.
I know love to be fickle in nature.
I do not expect it to last forever, but I can always hope.
And I have dreamed of a world in which my love is respected,
Not discarded like an inedible bone
Or occasionally used to arouse your bitter soul.
Understand now that I have only just begun to fight back.
My claws are fully grown and I am no longer afraid.
I cannot be harassed into submission
I will love everyone unconditionally,
Even you as you lounge in the shade of your ignorance.
My lion heart is the fiercest warrior.
I’ve lost some battles.
But the king of the jungle never backs down
Even when his mane has been ruffled.
I will always have my pride.