After the nature documentary we walked down Canyon Road,
onto the plaza of art galleries and high end clothing stores
where the mock orange is fragrant in the summer night,
and the pale adobe walls glow fleshlike in the dusk.
It is just our second date, and we sit down on a rock,,
holding hands, not looking at each other,
and if I were a bull penguin right now I would lean over,
and vomit softly into the mouth of my beloved
and if I were a peacock I'd flex my gluteal muscles to,
erect and spread the quills of my cinemax tail.
If she were a female walkingstick bug she might,
insert her hypodermic proboscis delicately into my neckskin
and inject me with a rich hormonal sedative,
before attaching her egg sac to my thoracic undercarriage,
and if I were a young chimpanzee I would break off a nearby
and smash all the windows in the plaza jewelry stores.
And if she were a Brazilian leopardfrog she would wrap her
tongue three times around my right thigh and
pummel me lightly against the surface of our pond,
and I would know her feelings were sincere.
Instead we stand awhile in silence, until,
she remarks that in the relative context of tortoises and iguanas,
human males seem to be actually rather expressive.,
And I say that female crocodiles really don't receive
enough credit for their gentleness.,
Then she suggests that it is time for us to go
to get some ice cream cones and eat them.
Reprinted from the nonprofit literary magazine Speakeasy (Fall 2004). Subscriptions: $19.99/yr. (4 issues) from the Loft Literary Center, Suite 200, 1011 Washington Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55415; www.speakeasymagazine.org.