North of Edisto, SC – April 15, 2013
Reptile eyes, leather, scaled skin, the long crooked smile. The way it slides down the bank, gliding, slipping into the water, leaving only its bony snout and eyes above the surface and a thin v of ripples trailing behind.
Then it disappears, sinks down, gone into the blackness. There then not.
The surface goes calm. Nothing moves. You stare at its footprints, the line left by its sliding belly in the mud, the still water where you swear it was.
Your imagination lights on fire. You swear it’s gone, you know it’s gone, you tell yourself a thousand times its gone, but it doesn’t leave for hours, just hangs there in the back of your head, waiting underneath the surface, watching you with those reptile eyes, reminding your that there is a bit of wild left in the world.