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Roused, as breath my sleep had
seized returns—a pink bud swelling
like a peony from this lizard’s throat.
As mate or threat, what strange excess
translated from some foreign grammar
of ornament. Poised on my laptop
he looks like evolution’s little scar,
the digital evergreen of midnight
currency transfers and failing pulses,
ceaseless milt and molt of information.
Though his elbows jut like epaulettes
and an azure eye patch surrounds each
obsidian, mordant bead, revolving
separate, he isn’t miniature or minaudière,
not toy or clown, but a philosopher-king
catechizing the rough or honeyed skin
of things. Head swiveling imperially,
he picks unseen locks, but can’t escape
his nature, all zeroes and ones, void
or integer as god. Being, then watching,
then gone, withdrawn to his peripheries,
returned to that alert, invisible world.
I raise my sleep-numb arm and shed
its thousand scales, my fused bones
lightening, fraying to feathers, to fingers
that begin the day’s unraveling.