Crocodile Child

Darryl Wally

-UPI "A ... boy tumbled into a pit ... Saturday and a 14-foot, 1800 pound African crocodile snapped its jaws around the child's middle and dragged him to his death in a small lagoon."


The sign read: AFRICAN CROCODILE
(14 feet)
Aggressive man-eater
of legend and fact

Here
your reptilian skin felt my thud
my fall into terror--
the writhing
the brutal twisting across your lair of mud
the belly high, the slits wide
your teeth sing like an adrenalin cage.
Shaken side to side
in a backward carnival ride
snorting in morning light
we slide under an airless skin--
My bubbles rise . . . .
AHHHHHHHHHHHH H H H H H H H

Through eyes with translucent lids
slit in a fixed yellow grin
I see those searching above.
Over water with sticks & stones
transfixed in ancient fear
my mother cries out in birth.
My father slaps water to awaken his son.

I did not feel the release of teeth
the growth of scale & flexing tail,
I only feel a buoyancy-
a wingless bird
cold-blooded & unspoken
slowly rising to a surface that glows
but cannot be broken . . .

 

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