Each day drier,
sandpaper skin
pebbles my shoulders.
Warty tags pop out.

The high desert's
adapting me,
molding the squat,
flattened shape
and blunt snout
of a short-horned lizard,
one of a dozen species
found in North and Central

Spikes will grow
along my spine - - -
yellow, reddish-brown.
I look forward
to the crown of horns
sprouting on my head,
poking through gray hair.

Ants will be my staple.
I've tried one,
snapping it up,
swallowing it whole.
For balance, I'll chomp
the occasional grasshopper,
beetle or spider.

Earth tones of my thorny
hide will camouflage me
from those who crave lizard - - -
hawks, roadrunners, snakes,
dogs, wolves, coyotes,
other lizards.

I'm learning
to inflate my body
to twice its size.
If that doesn't suffice,
I'll shoot blood
from my eyes.

--- Susan Okie
Summer 2016
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