Monday, September 26, 2005


I glittered in the morning sun. My nose lifted, and my forked tongue questioned the dew.

I climbed the maple trees up into the the blue sky, and waited, while the sun fell tumbling through the leaves. Finally I saw you down below. "O human being, look up!" I called. But your eyes were downward, your shoulders hunched.

I opened my wings, and sang on the wind, till I came to a corner where yellow newspapers blew against rust-stained brickwork. I licked the bricks clean until they shone blood-red, like the sun through finger-webs. As you walked by I called, O human being, look down!" But you kept on walking.

So I landed delicately on your shoulders, and wound my way through your hair. I changed my serpent's tongue for a cat's, and rasped the nape of your neck. Your hair smelled of apples and honey. You could spare the time to wash it, this morning, but not to notice me?

I chewed gently on the lobe of your ear. Nothing, at first. Then you did raise a hand to scratch it, absently. I licked the inside of your wrist. That tickled, I guess. You shook your hand, and fretted it against your jeans.

A start. But then you came to the doors, and I scrambled off in a bit of a panic. I can't go indoors. You vanished into a dark stairwell.

Tomorrow, then, beloved. I'm much much older than you. I've learned how to wait.

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