Sarah, Reptile Wrangler

Jon Riccio

Puberty’s passé when a gila out-dappers
your scene, ball python flubbing
a bearded dragon’s take.

You should see how I staged the Grease
finale: asp Sandy tongue-synching

“You’re the One That I Want”
while salamander Travolta stupefies
in his letterman’s and sphagnum substrate.

The talk-show host calls me Jaqueline
Hanna, as if gender you could pensive

drudging a one-liner about terrariums
and aplomb. From mealworm to
sublime: oddity over quality,

my family funded on a chameleon
hatching the fourth wall. So inveterate

a vertebrate, iguana salving
the tantrum phylum—comodo
box office, green room for pet newt.

Most parents misread their offspring’s
glint. Mine knew thespian from bog.

Jon Riccio is a PhD candidate at the University of Southern Mississippi's Center for Writers. Recent work appears or is forthcoming in GravelManzano Mountain ReviewPattern Recognition, SurVision Magazine, and Word For/ Word. He received his MFA from the University of Arizona.