Ruth Payne

What Little Boys Are Made Of

The snail is full of himself.
In a good way. Self-contained.
Persistently forging new
mucous tracks, like a tank
going over, not around.
Birds see tiny Nazca lines.
It’s hard to see the same sense
of purpose in a slug. Just
squelch and flaccid shrivel. But
mating leopard slugs entrance
with their balletic coiling,
on a dangling string of slime.
On the subject of slobber,
the Labrador leaves a lot
when his head rests on your knee.
Eyes yearning for love — and food.
Thumping tail wag. Solid dog.
Full of girth, bound and nuzzle.

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