On the Green Banana Leaf

I think, in the end, we must just fall
under the weight of all
our undigested measures
The brown anole
on the green banana leaf
tugging at its sleeve
drawing the skin into its boat-shaped mouth
sipping it really
like hot coffee and then gulping a second raft of scales

I’ve seen its yellow diamonds shine
for decades now but missed
how slow its first loosed steps are, how vulnerable
it might be to a bird
or a human child
who could lift it easily by the tail
like a kite

Martha Serpas is the author of three collections of poetry: Côte Blanche (New Issues), The Dirty Side of the Storm (W.W. Norton), and 2015’s, The Diener (LSU). Her poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, The Nation, Southwest Review, and elsewhere. Active in efforts to restore Louisiana’s wetlands, she co-produced Veins in the Gulf, a documentary about coastal erosion. She teaches at the University of Houston and serves as a hospital trauma chaplain.