Hunting for Lizards by James Claffey

June 11, 2012 Comments Off on Hunting for Lizards by James Claffey

Spin your wheels; the sky turns downside up; the redtail hawk whistles derisively; and nothing moves forward. Scaled carapace. Snap-off tail. A yellow-green frog, leaping into infinity along the fence line. This is our daily bread, the crushed leaves in the night, the scarred flesh of olive green avocados, a dream of excoriated shame. Ele-men-tal. A tribe of grass circles, miniature depressions in the ground, some measure of comfort given, the crepe billowing in the trees. Whose are those scrawled notes on the paper in your office?

“Certainly not mine.”

Said like a true renegade.

Integration of tooth and tongue, reiteration of blasphemy carried out on the front lawn of a church. Count the hairs on the back of your hand, the waving in the wind darker ones, the ones soon to turn to an autumnal cadence. If a corner is split by a jagged line does that mean the obtuse becomes the averse? When she said you could run, far as possible—into corners and caulked lay-bys where thin-blooded spiders spun webs of dismay—you took no note of her words, instead collating seventeen varieties of silken web into a wrist adornment.

In the night, your dreams came apart, an unraveled collection of twisted groans, the pillow soaked with your sweat, and the dog’s ears pricked up at your discomfort. There, in the province of regrets you made a flailing attempt to staunch the flow of should-have-dones and if-wishes-were-horses.

© 2012 James Claffey, first appeared at Fictionaut

James Claffey, hails from County Westmeath, Ireland, and lives on an avocado ranch in Carpinteria, CA, with his wife, the writer and artist, Maureen Foley, their daughter, Maisie, and Australian cattle-dog, Rua. His writing has appeared in various publications including Artichoke Haircut, the Drum Literary Magazine, the Molotov Cocktail, Everydayotherthings, the Toronto Quarterly, Shadyside Review, and the Cobalt Review. More is forthcoming in the New Orleans Review, Connotation Press, Apocrypha & Abstractions, Thrice Magazine, and Drunk Monkeys. You can find him at

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