Jeff Fearnside


You study me through a film
of algae-infused water
in a placid alcove,

a rough-skinned newt,
male in mating season,
temporarily alone,

unmoving, suspended, neither touching
bottom with those nuptial pads
nor reaching for air, simply watching.

We observe each other for what seems
a long time—how many minutes pass
in our visual embrace?—until

I feel myself slipping, like your tail
in the jaws of a predator,
dropping away,

out of the grasp of time,
out of place,
a greenish film over my vision, suspended

between the aquatic and the terrestrial,
connected to neither
and inextricably part of both.