restricted access Looking for Alligators near Kennedy Space Center
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37 Looking for Alligators near Kennedy Space Center The air is still until a catfish clangs The swampy surface like a dirty bell And breaks the spell between the elements. At well-considered distances, the heron And ibis wade, unrushing, noiseless, keen. Abruptly, near our feet, a flat-shelled turtle Dives under, while an osprey’s liquid cry Intensifies the mangroves, and behind us The armadillos occupy the reeds. The alligator’s been there all along, A horizontal bargain with the shore: The famous smile, the lifted, level head— A ledge with teeth. Its open eye blinks once. A statue of itself, a resolute And stationary universe, it watches, Holding fast, resisting evolution. Again, a long, slow blink, and we, like moons, Revolve with sunhats and binoculars. ...

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