'Snails' & 'Frogs': Two Poems by Dani Putney


When his tongue

slid across my teeth

I thought of escargot—

slime all over my braces.

I wanted to swallow

its foreignness.


lips were earthy

like his desert origins:

each chapped sliver of skin

a horseback ride

through sagebrush.

For thirty seconds

we were cowboys—

ranch house, kids,

barnyard sex.

He let go.



We descended into California

marshlands. Frogs lured us

from drunken campfire reverie

with ricocheting ribbits.

Blue Solo cups,

flashlights in hand,

we muddied our boots searching

for amphibian treasure.

First target:

a tiny leopard frog

resting, oblivious

to our coup.

We seized

the creature in a two-

second swipe,

stored it in my cup.

Looking at vacuous black eyes,

I thought about the life

we intended to steal.

My friends laughed.

I dropped the cup.


Dani Putney is a queer, non-binary, Asian American poet exploring the West. Their poetry most recently appears or is forthcoming in Foothill, Helen, Juke Joint Magazine, and Lockjaw Magazine, among other publications. Presently, they're infiltrating a small conservative town in the middle of the Nevada desert. You can reach them on Twitter @01000100_Putney.

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