The Child

If you would approach it —
go in low. Never look it in the eye.

It knows your name
but will change it.

Let it eat your scent from afar.
That cannot be hidden
despite the lather.

Even time recoils.

If you would seek it,
just follow the ruin,
its thick dismantling tail,
barbed as it is and willful.

And if it turns on you,
which it will,
toss it a child — the child

that rides on your shoulder, the child
that whispers in your ear,
the child of your own defeat.

Image: zoo_monkey on Unsplash

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