Regal horned lizard
we called them horny toads
not knowing any better,
and not knowing any better
we squealed after them
scurrying and scattering sand
until panic set in.
they'd freeze, try like hell to
disappear, and sometimes fail.
my eight-year-old hand snatched one
off the desert floor, its heart and lungs
slurring a single rhythm against the pale
where my fingers cradled its belly, then
I'd pinch that crown of horns
between thumb and pointer to wait,
wait for the small swing to kick in
a body in pendulous motion marking time
tick tick tock
tick tick tick tock tick tock
ticktock ticktocktick tockticktockticktock ticktock
I let go and it fell sandward, disappeared.
Sina Evans is an emerging writer who explores the intersection where the visual and language arts collide. Equally at home with pen or camera in hand, Sina often blends both in crafting a story. A native desert dweller and longtime collector of sand rubies, she and her dog Specks currently call Tucson, Arizona home.