Oh, the little hours of the night
we would tiptoe barefoot down the creaky hallway
through the porcelain white kitchen,
where the moon reflected off each tile
Then out onto the patio.
The spindly weeds made their way between
the silver slabs of slate
which we would lift up slowly
surrendering the cool skinned salamanders
into our carpal cages.
The ticklish touch of their icy fingers
the tiny tap of their toes upon our knuckles
(as if they were made of the stems of leaves)
we challenged the lizards to run away
but only gave them the other hand to dance upon.
We played until the cool night air
crept into our pajamas,
and the cold rocks numbed our feet.
Then we gently put the night creatures on the slate
the far side from their under-rock home.
They stood still, displaced, confused.
But we had already snuck discreetly
beneath our own covers
before the salamanders had slid again under the rocks.