Zan Bockes
The Monitor Lizard

He is not the sort you ask for time
or directions. An undercurrent
in the pandanus or a rustling
beneath mangroves shows
he is there, but he won't help
if you are lost and twilight
is closing up the jungle.

His dark gray scales trouble
the swordgrass, but he disappears—
have you hallucinated?
If you were too late, his proud
strut would never tell.
If the way to the sea were left or right,
you could not follow
his whisking tail.
These things he knows
in the depths of his slitted eyes,
but he's not answering—
don't even ask.

All you can do is stop,
hold him in your mind
like a thin prayer
or the last part of a dream,
then go on, believing
what you must.