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Skink

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Gram of mania, animated pepper,
shadow-monger dressed in panic,
monitor of  ghostly footfalls,
it concentrates in its essential tic
the frog leg dropped into oil
and the human shock at the verge.
If  it would stop and let me look,
I might imagine the tropic
where it hangs in a hammock
between two popsicle sticks
admiring the iguana’s stealth,
but it does not stop. Hawk-
dodger, crow-pretzel, gallows’
twitch. Spider-shark. Porter
of  readiness, miller of  the
steady shudder, peripatetic
rectitude, run by the power
of   the sunlit rock, it fortifies
Darwin and the idea of   being late
and the missed appointment.
With its blue tail, it reminds us:
it will go on. It will not stop.

Source: Poetry (May 2008)

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This poem originally appeared in the May 2008 issue of Poetry magazine

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Skink

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