The chameleon brought death



They say the chameleon is a messenger

whose passage to the heavens

could have prevented our death


But with its strange feet, it burst

and spoiled our offering before

it reached a number known as god


Others believe the chameleon

is still inching from the old world, seeping


forward towards us, camouflaged

and crawling; its slowness – warning us


that for all our haste

and all our tricks and games,

we can never outrun nor be missed

by its capacious gaze


we cannot delay and evade

its inevitable reckoning


where we come from we come

to rest, perpetual

and impermanent, the body

is but a journey

to our former self


Flinch from me, run from me, do

not touch me –

wherever you are – be aware

I could fall

and claw onto your head,


make you forget and fall

under my curse



Do I believe it? not really

I like to stare into its wandering eyes

pick it up and let it walk over me

skin tickled, gripped: sensitive,

both of us unmasked, still-



But a myth begins somewhere

as a joke bears some inner truth


and once a year

chameleons come here to mate

atop these two loquat trees

that a dog I lost beneath

has given leaf


Reason, and the world today

tells me this is mere coincidence

but I am never convinced, it seems

too convenient; our petty dismissal

of the mysterious


I will always prefer the myth

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