I never know when the toad in my sternum will spook.
Begin boiling white pus from its skin. I hesitate to feed it
purple pills; I use them as earplugs instead, let the beads
whisper sibilance in my ears, let a string of beads become
a string of ants, marching divergent paths down my back.
My acupuncturist will skewer them and suck their bodies
off the spit. Every artist has a toad. I get Snapchats of amphibius
grief. I learn on Twitter that every tree frog caught mid-yawn
is frozen solid. A wax doll with a screaming heart.
Does it still sweat acid? Does the photographer wipe its milk-tears
away with cloth? I can’t scrape all the fur off my tongue,
my velveteen muscle. It’s too cozy a living room for
the toad in my throat. Who all has heard it bleating
in the night? I used to think great herds of sheep swept
across Florida’s beaches at dusk. They were frogs.
Toads. Amphibians, half-thawed and singing.