With a squish, suck, pop!
my sneakered feet tromp, slurp, slosh
through the marsh to the frog ponds.
The buzz buzz around my shoulders goes nearly unnoticed,
until a tubed tongue prickles my wrinkly dry-skinned elbow
a moment before the slap, brush, rub of my hand.
I remember too late about my
too warm, reddening skin which lazed the afternoon away
in the too hot, yellow sun.
I dip two curved fingers into the meandering muck
and smear the slime on the birth of the bite
for an itch fix.
The mountain evening cool soothes my skin.
The frog pool’s shaded shelves,
overgrown with sweet grass,
try to hide them,
but my practiced eyes find
two bumps breaking the smooth skin of the water,
arms and legs splayed out from the body below,
cooling in the evening’s draining sun.
I inhale them.
They smell like water
left to stand in a bucket
for a few hot summer days.
The smell of living green.
I squat, hands sinking in the soil between turned out feet.
I spring forward.
My fingers close as the frog kicks
and swims through them.
My fingers grow green
with a web of hairy algae dripping down my arms.
The sweet grass stings my sun-baked, mud-caked legs.
My dusty lids grind over my hot eyes,
and I see myself,
arms and legs splayed out,
suspended in the water,
my eyeballs alone above the water’s skin.
My own skin is slick.
I smell like living green.
A woodpecker rattles.
A bush rustles.
A fish rises in the stream.
My transparent lids glide over my cool eyes,
and I kick through the fingers
closing around me.
I settle in the mire below