Lizard’s Dream



That night the valley below us was aglow with glittering lights.

We listened to the cicadas as they spread out their blanket of scratchy sounds, and  watched as the bats

Flew from hill to hill, their dark cloaks almost invisible in the black sky

Screaming warnings to little creatures, unsafe in the night.

Then someone noticed the lizard, asleep on the wall, its toes gripping tenaciously

To the whitewashed wall near the eaves, its eyes open but blind

So carelessly asleep, as if it had forgotten about danger.

We stood so close that we might easily have taken it in our hands and felt its rubbery feet scrambling to escape, the bulging eyes tracking our faces with panic, the sinews of its neck craning towards freedom.

But we only inspected the creature, and when it finally woke up to our noises and scuttled off, we laughed.

Then we drank wine and ate cheeses, aged for years in dark cellars. We devoured air-dried slices of animals we’d never met and floated our toes in the pool, avoiding the dying insects.

It was only later that I wondered

What right did we have

To eat for pleasure and to feel so safe

when the whole world around us was struggling

Eating and beating and fleeing in constant desperate motion

Just to survive;

Never allowed to sleep like us

With both eyes shut.



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