Squamata Monster

by Hakim

Below my knees i felt the weeds caress the flesh of my back legs
My ankles buried in that dark silky night beneath the cold wetness
My toes and the palms of my feet could feel the soaked earth move around
Felt like lard, but only between my toes.
See, them hounds, they don't make no noise
So I better make even less
They sniff for us like they got parts of us stuck in those thick black nostrils
Huffin and puffin, snortin and gruntin
But no yelpin', can't hear them coming...they're sneaky; 
could be mean as their masters too
Sneaky like the a squamata monster Mother-nana used to tell me about
To keep me too scared to leave my shed when it got dark
When the crickets and mosquitoes would come out to converse
Tell each other where the ripest bush was
Tell each other where the ripest flesh was, and then go feast
And they sure feasted on me under that slack moon
Just a crack of light in the blue black sky
Just enough for me to see my way, away from here
There was a star right above the big house
I knew if I ran away from it til I didn't see it anymore
I wouldn't see that place anymore either
I felt like a coward ducked in these swamp trees
I felt like less of a man holding my breath 
so those sneaky fuckin hounds couldn't hear me breathe
My shirt was soaked and I knew once I made it to prairie 
as far away from that star, over that house I hated
I would need them shoes I had wrapped in that waxed paper to tread across
I felt those greasy blood suckers on me though
I could feel my blood
warm and thick leave me
and enter them
Since the sludge I stood in was so cold
The sensation was numbing
They drank until they were full
My veins tightened
But not as tight as that rope that would string me up
have me looking like strange fruit
If those bastard hounds caught me
Small price to pay....
Before I knew it I had made my way across some acres of swamp
The wresting behind me getting faint
The torches burning, looked like little wooden matches dancing in the bush
I left them all
Mother-nana, my half brothers, my new sister
My wife they married me to and that new baby
That baby that had my nose
She had my curly hair that Mother-nana said I had when I was birthed
She didn't have these scars, yet, the ones on my back that felt like dry wax
and looked like the grooves left in the brown earth when we would mule plow
I left her
I held her once
I was a coward
I didn't lie and say I would make it back
Save them
Take them with me
Truthfully, They say I'm a strong and tall seventeen 
This is the first time I left those grounds  
And I wouldn't know how to get back to them
Even if I had those thick black nostrils those hounds rearing on me had
So they was gone
I was gone
I made it til dawn
I took those blood suckers with me outta the bush
Let them feed
Felt like they would drain the part of me that made me feel so weak and frightened
And leave me as a man
Guessin' why I didn't rip them from my skin
I never heard it come though
but as my nose smelled the grass blades and mud 
I saw the hot metal pebble roll out in front of me
Nlood on some parts, mud on the other as it spunt to a stop
That pebble that seared though my left shoulder blade and come out of my neck
Those bloodsuckers are cowards like me,
They slithered off me when the last of my blood left my neck 
and drained into the prairie's soil
Like I knew
They didn't make a sound...
Just a sniff and grunt in my ear
A sneaky whisper from those thick black nostrils...
"You're free, now." 

Authors Note:
This is a poem derived from a nightmare I had. It was so weird, 
i usually dream of the last thing I saw on television or a movie I 
viewed recently that stuck with me.  Which is why I know a lot 
of the things I write and draw lack originality and has sort 
of a plagiarist vibe to it to me.  But this time, these vivid images 
came from nowhere. I mean, hell, I hadn't seen "Roots" in years. 
Maybe it's something I did in a life before, maybe I was channeling. 
All I know is I didn't know what a squamata was until
I woke up and Googled it. I'm from Harlem and the Bronx, 
brick and concrete, Ive never been to a swamp...Short of the scars 
left from those bloodsuckers, I WAS THERE. 

Squamata Monster by Hakim

© Copyright 2010. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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