Amphibian Spread


Version | Mariana Ruiz Villarreal

In the gravy boat near the pond edge
caecilians swim through the mud like eels;
otherwise, they toothpick through sponge-cake
soil with their crusty-heel jaws like hammers.

The umami swamp air mushroomy,
the frogs croak on green lily-pad plates,
their meringue eggs frothy at the rims;
tadpole dumplings simmer in the soup.

The perfumed world waits to be feasted
by Anura with geschmackssheibe for
screening savory comestibles
from bitter injurious tidbits or
sour: fermented, acidic, rotten.

Efts emerge from gelatin dessert
as smoky salamanders sizzle,
dunking in psychotropic brandy.

The amphibian predators with
fungiform papillae from the time
of mosses, ferns, horsetails, and calamites,
when the tetrapodomorphic fish
thrust onto the Devonian shore,
thrash and vault toward a smörgåsbord.

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