The Crocodile

This ruse, enduring for days,
will eventually cease, but now
even the birds mistake him for a log,
or a stone the fleeting drought
has lifted above the current.
Because there is a current, even in this cocoa-dark
 
side-pool, and the solution to hiding
so plainly under the sun is to glide as
the magnolia petals do, or the fallen limb of a tree,
as though alive not at all except secretly,
to hunger.
 
No other creature
could survive and be so torpid.
And yet he is ready,
the humid vault of the wetland
his camouflage. Wit and song
he leaves for others, prime
 
in his vigil, knowing without
memory, trusting without faith.
The door of his heartbeat opens,
and the same door slowly shuts. His sleep
and his waking are the same. Noon
 
sifts downward, and then the sunset
and soon, he knows, surely
very soon some quicker more beautiful
sojourner will discover
with what swiftness comes the end.
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