Slug and Newt
by Kate Bernadette Benedict
I. Self as a Slug
I keep to myself. Dark places,
small spaces—they’re my element.
The anchorite’s predicament
is what my being embraces.
Where I writhe, I live. How I thrive
is how I’m meant to thrive. It’s fate.
Under, under is where I wait.
See these inky lines? I survive.
II. Thou as a Newt
Home is scrub or swamp or heath,
a spacious ecomuddle.
Snug the log you dwell beneath,
hospitable the puddle.
Your skin is toxic to the touch.
Torn limbs, gouged eyes, grow back.
You won’t be lamed however much
you’re ripped on hardship’s rack.
You’re not darling, you’re not fair
yet draw your devotées
who love your for your bad-boy flair,
those louche capricious ways.