Beelzebub by the Beach

Keeping its perilous footing

over the gravel and rubble

in the halted gentrification project

she of the devilish cloven foot

engorged udders, wispy beard

and spindly horns looks you in the eye

from behind the chain link fence

suspicious of the vegetable

tourist gifts you bear


She can smell it that you

have feasted on her tender kin

That you intend to extract a metaphor

from her bleating

That you fish in the murky waters

of sacred books and psychology treatises


She senses your gaze of separation:

That you have boxed her into nature

and kept yourself out of it

as you benevolently prod the mint

stalk through the gap

gaining nary a distracted glance


She is all set to ignore

your pestiferous self

-human musing at goats by the beach-

won’t play the pliant or plaintive

scapegoat for you

just stares back from her billy

constancy with the annoyance

reserved for a fly  or a tick


Alyki,  7 June 2023