The smallest species of sheep had evolved in the tropical ecosystem of the Dominican Republic.Like most quadrupeds of the time, they had one set of teeth to last a lifetime,holes in the lining of their eardrums, eyes that burned some afternoons,and seemed to have a bird's crucial feather floating around in their brains.A herd of them living on a patch of wild lawn on the shore of Boca Chica beach.Between the green blades of grassthe miniature sheep grazed throughout the day.They were no bigger than ants. I squatted down and fed them bits of a discarded mango.I liked watching them cart away bits of the flesh. I liked their black-and-white hair.I kept seagulls away from them.They walked up my arm in a line, baying all the way.I carried them out to the edge of the ocean.A few of the lambs confused the roar and the splash of the waves for the beat of their own hearts.The others listened to the sound of my voice reach down into the deep until it struck the lost black boxes of fallen airplanes.They listened carefully, and I wondered if they'd developed a fondness for me,if one day they'd place a crown of giant lilies on my head,bow down on two hooves,and call me their queen.
Copyright © 2020 by Amy Roa
from the Spring 2020 issue of The Cincinnati Review
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.
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