“The Remarkable Life of a Celebrity Mountain Lioness” by Tina Plottel

Tempting as it is to
wander, like a puma, tawny and irritated,

radio collar monitored in the Santa Monica Mountains
the thought doesn’t escape:

my swift nights powered by
Starbucks are behind me.

I levitate, thinking curious about
neon beats and gyrating gobos.

It comforts to investigate
how youth is a construct,

limited and dependent. Despite coming
across as nonchalant, the deep caring is

profoundness defined. Regeneration
is the only way to survive, like

a fallen magnolia tree follicle
found on the sidewalk,

distinct carpels point and erupt red–
a promise of a cycle renewed.

I take it to replant in my own alleyway.
Wise to try again

better this time, more
Informed. Whisper to me how it’s not done.

Tina A. Plottel lives on Maryland’s Eastern Shore (the unceded land of the Wicomico and Nanticoke Peoples). She is a librarian by trade, musician by training, and has been writing poetry in earnest since 2022.

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