The Horned Toads Confront Their Young Human Captors

How dare you take the horrors of our life from us,
How dare you display us in this cardboard mockery
Where nothing struggles,
Where all is provided,
Where no enemies hide in ambush.
Look closely: blood shoots out of our eyes,
Touch us, and warts grow out of your hands,
We feed on dust and the rays of the sun.
When you try to pry our secrets
We will become sharp stones.

(First published in slightly different form in The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Summer 2022 – thanks to Editor Valerie MacEwan.)

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