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Ravi Shankar

To call it lethargic would be hyperbole,
because the lozenge of scales is like a log,
immobile in the mudflats even as I approach

with tentative steps to stand ten feet away.
No indication that the air shifts between us,
though I might just harbor malice, a half-

thought to fling a stone to see what rise
it gets. No sense of who’s the predator,
who the prey, though the impulse to harm,

once formulated, takes hold like a pair
of jaws nearly impossible to pry back open.
Lurks still in the mind. Appetite incarnate.

Ravi Shankar

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