For young Jack is a small lion in my house.
—Hunt Hawkins, “My Cat Jack”
For there is the Thunder-Stop, which is the voice of God direct.
—Christopher Smart, “Of the Spiritual Musick”
For the parts of the Tibetan lion dog are as follows:
For the heart is murmurous but sound;
For the head is a chrysanthemum nuzzling the tall grass, but softer,
more smellable yet;
For the nose leather is black, polished, and the shelf of the nose
For the fleecy white bellyhair seems edible to children;
For the torso is a stretched and sturdy monument when the lion dog
guards our house, sphinx of the sliders;
For the right forepaw of the sphinx is precious paw, ever curled
to the pettable chest;
For the tremor in the neck is both theatrical and worrisome;
For the pituitary tumor is a goad to the adrenal glands;
For the tail is a plume but in her last days ratskinned;
For the golden coat is now sparse, the keratoses not;
For the pancreas is a vindictive organ, furious with fat;
For the flux is pure blood;
For the blood is the blood of Paper Dragon and Yobo Ting-Yay,
of Sonny Boy, Spot, and Judy, of the ancestral palace pets;
For the teeth are as sharp as my conscience;
For the eyes are on me as the lion dog roars and relaxes.