Crocodile

by Jonathan Edwards

All afternoon, your body plays it cool
in the deep end, sends your head up for a peek,
a periscope with teeth. A rock-shaped head
 
among head-shaped rocks, your variegated tints
are dangerous as a man in camouflage paint.
You stepped from prehistory into this century
 
on plaything legs. Your females lay around
a hundred eggs. Now you drag your monstrous tail
and reputation onto a rock to sunbathe.
 
Your brothers are a game of snap, your boredom
a rabbit-trap, your happiness a drawer
of knives. You slip again beneath the surface
 
for fish, for meat. What can we do with our lives,
you say, but follow our smiles? Or our teeth.