May my fear draw close
wrap its loving arms
around my paints
At first I was afraid the breathing colors
would elude me and the red of the red-billed toucan
would fly into the swallowing trees.
I stand outside myself watching the hand
draw a doubleness and my mouth become
a green-flooded argument. My mind stained now with rare
reds and I am now intimate with its feet worm-inked and old-fleshed.
The frogs such a complicated presence.
I must capture them with my paints before they are eaten.
The snake’s tongue a flickering God before them.
One lies prostate on its backs pleading.
One sits sleepy under the shooting stars of pink flowers.
I hear the toucan squawking
as the snakes wrap themselves inside a tiny
death and the sleeping frog wakens and plops
inside the mouth of dark waiting water.