Diamonds and Toads

by Christopher W. Clark

I.                    Diamonds

The way they glimmer even in the dark:

As if they knew how to unstitch shadows

And with prickly fingers pull what gleams

Of light they could from their fusky insides —

They give me no darkness, but endless shining

Men worship them, and kill for them, all the time

Their eyes flashing little daggers of diamantine light

I have long given up trying to argue, or cry for them,

For each word tumbles from my lips another diamond,

Bright, sharp, cutting, fire-tipped in edges of sunsparkle:

My tongue bleeding, teeth filed to a sharp edge

By their passage: words that cut, words that shine


II.                  Toads

Strange to say, I almost like the way it feels,

When one of them slides from between my lips,

Slippery-footed and caked with slime, till

Perching on my bottom lip they hop away

With a wet slapping smack, and a croak —

No amount of brushing will get the taste out —

But as far as curses go, I guess I'm lucky,

Fingers intact, all other particulars in order

(And how I like to watch them, sometimes,

The little spoken things hopping and darting,

Slipping and gurgling their sweet curdling airs)

I pick them up and kiss them on the mouth, just so,

And wait to see what they become

Christopher W. Clark's poetry has appeared in the online journals Cabinet des Fées and Sugar Mule. His favorite fruit is pumpkin.

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