Eric Fisher Stone, Words for Wilbur

Love Poem to a Frog

You complete my body, chirping pebble,
western chorus frog, chin-bubbler
in the pond’s gumbo of moss
where you sing for a mate.

I won’t catch or possess you
more alive than a diamond your size,
the slipping kiss of your flesh richer
than any mute gem. Your reasons
for living are clearer than mine
while I blunder from career to mortgage—
the psychosis of owning. You climb
on sticks and live for living’s sake,
controlling nothing except twig-thin ribs
that hold your trilling heartbeat,
two black planets for eyes, stripes
rivered down your back’s gray slope.

I take a photo and leave you,
mud-jumper, cold lightning.
Your skin is porous, carries my breath
inside you as I leave remembering
your wet body, gentle as a tongue.

Love Poem to Beak

You claw the terrarium glass,
crack filters in impish,
snapping turtle romping.
I love you Beak; you smash
fishbones to dust with jaws
like chomping anvils
that could break my hand,
but I am the giver of food.
You are the gift of love.

Your algae-caked carapace is slick
as eels in their green runes,
not cold blooded, your flesh
warmed by sun and light
of your emerald smile.

Home from the wildlife center
and asleep we’ll dream
we’re swimming the moon’s white lakes,
so intimate when I sense
the bare earth of your body,
you nip the clouds of my breath.

I wake when stars tinker blueberry flames.
Brewing coffee, I toast you,
my lime-green love, my jade dinosaur
sleeping near the heater. Your closed eyes,
two onyx stones, will fracture into sight
when the sun seeps through them.

Night’s blackness cannot blot
the hope I’ll feed you come dawn
with minnows slammed into gum
by your crushing kiss.

Love Poem to a Rattlesnake

I won’t touch you, black-tailed rattler
bellying the Chisos basin;
your tongue’s forked ribbon tastes footprints

and your fangs, two stabbing moons,
pulse your venom’s Stygian rum.
I love you for what you are,

kind pipe of death, assassin noodle.
I stomp the trail announcing
my presence before you slide

to Sotol bushes. I wouldn’t trade
your scales, the stripe across your eyes
like a bandit mask, or any nugget

of your body for a thousand human
lovers. No one can replace
your tender hunger, biting hose.

I praise your hefty S, your thickness
plumed dark among the treasure of rats.
You murder my breath with your mouth.

Words for Wilbur

My hamster’s black fur grayed
his second year, then frosted
his back like a hump of snow.

He lived three years, drizzling
his bedding with silent feet,
a joyous mothball bellied with seeds.

One dawn he lay stiff as a tooth.
I buried him in a flowerbed
where his ghost sniffs midnight blooms.

I remember his body’s hot sweet roll,
the tiny radar of his ears,
his whiskers dusting my fingers

when I gave him a treat. Our love
justified the earth. His spirit spins
this planetary hamster wheel,

his bones springing twigs
and stars, his jellybean
heartbeat freed to the wind.

Eric Fisher Stone is a poet from Fort Worth, Texas, USA. He received his MFA in creative writing and the environment from Iowa State University. His poems have appeared in numerous journals, and his first poetry collection The Providence of Grass was published by Chatter House Press in 2018. He loves animals of all shapes and sizes.

Read more of Eric here.

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