The Tiger

Written By: Malika Agarwal

 

It looked at me—

chocolate eyes meeting amber,

flecked with gold.

I looked at it,

The majestic stripes,

The sheen of it’s coat,

Muscles rippling like fluid.

But when it saw me,

It saw through me.

It saw all of me.

The insecurities.

The pain.

The joy.

The love.

All of my memories.

Walking hand in hand with my family on the beach.

Getting stung by a bee.

Eating ice cream.

Sledding.

Picking flowers.

It saw things that it had never seen before.

Accessed information that was new,

And surreal.

It saw my past.

It’s past.

The glory of the galaxy.

The universe.

My ancestors.

The vast darkness of space.

It saw the jungle.

The savannah.

Slums,

And cities.

It saw new things.

Rich sunsets,

Plums, and ruby reds, and cotton-candy pinks,

All swirled together by an invisible hand.

And when it broke eye contact.

I looked away.

And I looked up.

I saw the stars.

Twinkling,

Like diamonds,

Strewn across the sky.

Scattered by breezes.

Or maybe by fairies.

And when I looked back down.

I saw that it was looking up.

And I knew that it was looking at the stars too.

I knew that tiger was looking into the world.

With it’s big eyes.

Wondering.

Seeing.

All knowing.

It saw me.

And I don’t know how—

But it knew me.