Dying in Paradise – Christy Bailes

The warty frog lounges
on a plastic chair
and calms the oak leaf
under her chin.

She’s full of snakes
and worms and sun
and lives in paradise
you might say

if you can see
past the frog-eat-frog
satisfaction on
her smile.  I only

see her seeing what
I can’t see.  This
is enough for me to
know her

poisoned peace
has always persisted
in her olive skin.
She doesn’t mean

to burn my eyes
and clog my drain
with her Florida frog funk,
just as I don’t mean

to disturb her rest,
even though
her eyes offer
black diamonds.

I don’t take them.
They don’t belong
to me.  But as
I leave,

she begins to leak
a lazy hymn until
I understand the
delicacy of dying.

Christy BailesChristy Bailes lives in Fairfield, California. She is pursuing a second master’s degree in creative writing from CSUS. Her poem “Sonnet on a Sloth” was selected for publication in the 2019 edition of the Calaveras Station Literary Journal. Dovecote Magazine selected her poem “Biking Drunk” for the Autumn 2019 edition. She received a master’s degree in English and creative writing with an emphasis in poetry from SNHU. The Penmen Review selected 18 of her poems for publication. She studied poetry for ten years with Lynne Knight. Christy Bailes has won an honorable mention twice in the Mattia International Poetry Contest.