Better disguised than the leaf-insect,
A sort of subtler armadillo,
The lake turns with me as I walk.
Snuffles at my feet for what I might drop or kick up,
Sucks and slobbers the stones, snorts through its lips
Into broken glass, smacks its chops.
It has eaten several my size
Without developing a preference—
Prompt, with a splash, to whatever I offer.
It ruffles in its wallow or lies sunning,
Digesting old senseless bicycles
And a few shoes. The fish down there
Do not know they have been swallowed
Any more than the girl out there, who over the stern of a rowboat
Tests its depth with her reflection.
Yet how the outlet fears it! — dragging it out,
Black and yellow, a maniac eel,
Battering it to death with sticks and stones.
Transcribed by Ludo Cinelli