A plump lizard basks on my San Diego patio in the quiet summer sun. “Hello,” I whisper. Her smile sly, eyes button-beads, skin resembling grandma’s purse. Prolific in our childhood garden my brother Sandy saved them in shoeboxes, fed them flies. Sometimes he’d pick one up, snigger as its tail fell off, wiggled about. He’d chase me with the terrible Tyrannosaurus Rexes in his outstretched hands. Terrified I’d cry, run away until the day I grit my teeth, stood my ground, patted its crusty head. After that Sandy stopped pestering me. At least not with reptiles. He often kissed them until one bit him on the lower lip and like mom would say he screamed bloody murder. I think he still has a scar. I feared those dears had become extinct long ago. It’s interesting what a coronavirus can do to shift the balance back.
Published in San Diego Poetry Annual 2021 – 2022