IV: Scrawl

III: Scrawl

How doth the little crocodile
Improve his shining tail
And pour the waters of the Nile
On every golden scale!
How cheerfully he seems to grin
How neatly spreads his claws
And welcomes little fishes in
With gently smiling jaws!
-Lewis Carroll

THE SHINING TAIL
SLITHERING, SHINING, SNAKING TAIL
A PINK FLESH LENGTH EXTENDING FROM MY TAILBONE
GETTING LOST DEEP WITHIN THE ICE.

MY GOLDEN SCALES LONG SINCE VANISHED
HAVE FALLEN OFF INTO THE POWDER
TO LEAVE ME EXPOSED TO THE COLD
I AM RED AND BITTER AND MY TAIL IS NOTHING BUT PEACH
BLUED AND GREYED WITH THE FROST
LET MY TAIL FALL OFF AND LEAVE IT, I WISH IT WOULD
GOOD LORD, IF I COULD BLEED NOW
MY BLOOD WOULD FREEZE AS IT TOUCHES THE AIR
LIKE THE SNOW AND THE RAIN FROM THE CLOUDS
AND THEY WOULD FALL TOGETHER.

IF ONLY MY JAW WOULD EXTEND
IF ONLY MY TAIL WOULD LEAVE MY BODY
IF ONLY I COULD DISCARD AND MOVE AWAY
DEEP INTO THE SNOW
DEEP DOWN INTO THE DEATHLY SNOW
DEEPER THAN DEEP AND TO THE CORE
BUT THE CORE IS NOT HOT
IT IS COLD, COLD, COLD AS A HEART
IF ONLY I WOULD SINK FAR, FAR BELOW
RIGHT TO THE HEART
RIGHT DOWN, TAIL- AND SKIN-LESS, TO THE CORE.

 

V: Scrawl

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