The first was little and apple green

The first was

little and apple

green

I beamed to see it,

as it coiled around

my fingers

neat

playful:

my friendly

Messenger

with a pink fork

and a smile.

But then,

the next night,

another came

(I was ready for bigger

leagues?)

a wider face,

not mean,

but I was

trapped in sand

up to my waist

and I was

afraid

that it moved

beneath me.

No cute coils,

but a waxy

olive head

with penetrating

eyes

like it knew me.

And the sand was

trapping

as I felt it move

and heave.

Dusk was falling

and my hips

wouldn’t budge.

I wanted to

befriend it too,

but it felt so big

and all I could do

was kick my feet.

Then,

as though

the decision

was made for me,

I coughed

and scales

and a head

fell out

of my mouth

dry

olive green

and the thing

was dead.

I grieved,

I grieved,

I had done it

all wrong

I feared too much:

the crust of

skin

lay in the

brittle sand,

as the sky turned purple.

I just didn’t know how to be,

friend

or pupil;

I couldn’t sink into

surrender,

celebrating

the mystery

by the shores

of the sea.

 

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