Not with stagecraft or tongue raving
like Pentecostals at Grassy Branch Tabernacle
but like a tightrope walker holding a heron
egg. I learned to talk
to you like a fresh puppy. What’s up
little green? Are you getting out
of the heat, lovely slither bit?
I’d sing, “Don’t be frightened, Mon Chéri,
my little mouse-tooth-honey-cake.”

O treasure, please stretch
your scaly stripes across
the threshold of my thick
garden. If I trample on you,
know I didn’t mean it. Wiggler,
harmless friend, unexpected
pet, you are welcome
company. A living spiral
twisting at the foot of my ragged
trellis.  Here may you
always shimmy free.