Phyrynosoma solare

Regal horned lizard

Sina Evans



we called them horny toads

not knowing any better,

and not knowing any better

we squealed after them

scurrying and scattering sand

until panic set in.

they'd freeze, try like hell to

disappear, and sometimes fail.


my eight-year-old hand snatched one

off the desert floor, its heart and lungs

slurring a single rhythm against the pale

where my fingers cradled its belly, then

I'd pinch that crown of horns

between thumb and pointer to wait,

wait for the small swing to kick in

a body in pendulous motion marking time


                                   tick         tock


                    tick               tick                 tock


            tick      tick      tick      tock      tick      tock


        ticktock ticktocktick tockticktockticktock ticktock




                                                                  until, mesmerized,

I let go and it fell sandward, disappeared.



Sina Evans is an emerging writer who explores the intersection where the visual and language arts collide. Equally at home with pen or camera in hand, Sina often blends both in crafting a story. A native desert dweller and longtime collector of sand rubies, she and her dog Specks currently call Tucson, Arizona home.