On the front door of our house
frogs have left wet body prints,
outlines of their sticky legs
and stomaches. I was the first
to spot them: dark smudges
interrupting the smoothscape
of the door the way red anthills
mount a busy show each summer.
I traced for you the footpath
the frogs must have taken in order
to leap from doormat to potted
plant to glass. You laughed as if
you were amused anything
would be trying to break in
rather than out.
It’s been a long
year, us all nestled in our beds,
noisy and agitated like the crickets
that get stuck in our wet basement
for weeks sometimes before
they die. This morning
you bothered to shower anyway,
blasted the radio from your phone,
found at the bottom of the tub
midway through shampooing
a small frog, its body wet
from the dripping faucet.
What a treasure
to be surprised.
You called to me — terror
and pleasure mixing in your voice
like grenadine swirling into tequila.
I handed you a square dish,
watched as you crouched naked
over the frog, your wet hands
planning a delicate trap. Safer
for him to be outside, for us
to stay in, but that doesn’t stop
me from wishing the frog
might stay, that I too might
one day find the slippery
creature in the bath
and frightened and elastic,
shout out for you, my own
song ringing in my ears.


Photo by Tony Alter, used and adapted under CC.