Odd Love

Ver Para Creer is on the television
behind the desk at the bus station:

A man with silver hair keeps
a crocodile for a pet—
the trap-jawed lizard sleeps
beside his bed, or else stays
awake and still all night,
claws like taproots, sensing
for motion across the tile floor,
the rest intent
on the warm mammal
breaths above.
The old man must be a hard sleeper,
never thrashing with dreams.

A child beams
through gap teeth and hugs
a massive python around the neck,
presses his cheek to the broad head
studded with unblinking eyes,
while the snake lies
still as coiled rope.
Only the tongue darts
in and out to taste the air, much faster
than a child can flinch.

I watch the screen and think
isn’t that just like love
to be so odd and deadly.

Theodosia Henney is a Pushcart Prize-nominated queer whose poems and flash prose have appeared or are forthcoming in over a dozen publications, including RHINO, Grey Sparrow Journal, Fifth Wednesday, Vestal Review, Ozone Park, and Dirtcakes. She recently returned from several months of living out of a backpack, and is profoundly excited at the prospect of having shelves again.

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One Response to Odd Love

  1. Jeanette Gallagher says:

    Each of Theodosia’s poems is more powerful than the one before! They touched me in unexpected places and left me stunned…

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