Flicks his tongue to learn about this world.
Not tooled for contemplation but for reaction.
Can re-grow a tail without pride, shame, joy,
Or awareness of death.
A quick colorful automaton—
Possesses nothing, knows nothing.
Chumash say when the gods
Were designing men to inhabit the earth,
Sky-Coyote insisted their hands be like his.
But silent and watchful Lizard leapt quickly to the sacred stone
And pressed his hand into it.
So we have fingers now, not paws.
Tells of the great battle of Sinh A Gad
Where Maratha warriors of Tanaji
Scale the forbidding walls of a mighty fortress
By aid of the giant lizard Yesh Wanti
With a rope tied round his waist.
Flicks his tongue to learn about this world,
Yet informs no personal history.
He is most like this jar upon which he sits,
If that jar has a beating heart.
We lend him our voice, our myths, our fears—
To make him less unknowable.
In the book of Exodus God speaks to Moses
And says, “I Am that I Am.”
Perfect Lizard declaration!