Hail the Lizard


The green anole lizard might
                    turn this way off
          its perch on the foxtail fern

into the circle of resting cats
                    or this way cutting a clear path
          to the cat’s-claw vines invading

every seam in the fence.
                    At some point you just admit
          you’re what remains of the tick

pinched free from the dog’s flank
                    for constantly bringing to attention
          that the poet meant

perspective not resolve,
                    as in the anole’s choice
          between two dark routes lying

equally in barb-cloaking leaves.
                    The poetry of the anole is not
          pedagogy. You are the sum total

of the anole leaping through
                    the lion’s den of only half-sleepers
          who chase it up the fig tree.

You are the flash of the anole
                    toward the millipede, lost traveller
          on the concrete slab, and you are

the rival locked in the anole’s jaw,
                    your triumph warming under
          a full sun. You are the dewlap’s red

sun of warning, pulsing
                    from the trees. To fall down
          the face of the world, so effortlessly,

to venture out onto the thinnest
                    tongue of leaf, to be the hunger
          that hides in plain sight, false

chameleon, to be the anole
                    out of the cats’ reach and the one
          whipping in the blue jay’s beak.