A Drawing of Akira Betts

We were sitting drawing caricatures.
You said, “who’s this”?

I looked at a watermelon,
split with a crescent moon,
full of chiclets.
It was all teeth.
A Cheshire Cat smile,
And those crazy eyes.
Those eyes smile so wide,
You don’t know if they are happy to see you,
Or happy to eat you.
That smile swings around the face,
like the sun across the southern hemisphere.
Those teeth wrap around the head like a zipper.
Corners of the mouth pulling, stretching,
Crawling into the ears to get a firm anchor
So they can keep towing those elastic lips
Away from those myriad teeth.
Daring you to frown,
Daring you not to grin yourself;
Feel your lips pull back from your teeth,
Until your skull is ready to unwrap.
And you are two crazy crescent moons
Filled with chiclets,
And wild smiling eyes,
Staring at each other,
Like reflected in a mirror.

And we both burst out laughing
Because I knew exactly who it was.

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