April sun warms a south-side crevasse,
and slowly powers leaf-wings awake
to flit brown green orange black
through the still-bare birch branches
to sip sweet dung sweet nectar
and to wait in the dappling afternoon
for a thirsty flittering mate.
This sun-pond immerses all memory
of the ice winds of November
the ice shards of December
the ice-hard March into spring
and resurrects an emergent hope
of fragile colorful life.
My swift flight is driven through the night
by the sweet scent of recent death
impinging on my sensilla
and integrating in my ganglia.
Landing lightly I amble in the carcass aroma
and make the still-warm body mine
by mingling my own glandular perfume
with the odor of this fleshy nursery.
Breathless, yet breathing, I await her arrival,
my mottled armored mistress.
And then begins our familial bond
familiar, yet unfamiliar,
yet as real as nature might ever call love.
My mother’s chemical command
drives my impossible body forward
toward a dancing patch of nectar
that beckons me with a violet glow.
A landing taste tongue flick
antenna twitch, and I drink
while stealing gold nuggets that drench my body.
And off again, and again, and again
until I have reached my fill
and retrace my winged path
to that unmarked hole of a home
to unload, upload, antennuate
and then fly again through the scented meadow
as long as my fraying wings allow.
Silently swaying in dark humidity
I await the spread of darkness
beyond my still body
when my legs as unfurled sensors
will thrill at a quiver and deliver my fill
of liquified chitin-wrapped flesh.
Yet an acrid quiver driven by appendages
half-counted yet deadlier than mine
will mine my forest of darkness,
tear away the lignified caress
that holds me in its gentle sway,
and will destroy my blind flesh
down into humus below,
where I meet the bliss of eternal darkness.
Each day I hew my resinous chamber.
Yet I have never known day,
but only night in my confinement.
And the night-day extends ahead
for a decadal gross of moons.
My mother, long gone. My father, never known.
A solitary self and its ganglion thoughts
accompany me and keep me company
as I gnaw into my splintered prison
only to extend my imprisonment
in space and perhaps in time.
I bore deeper into the rotting heartwood
and wait for a time when I will turn
and my converted body will emerge
unblinking into the blinding light.
Once we bought this house
signed a deed
paid the mortgage
loved each other
loved one boy
blew out candles
cared for a cat
lost a cat
found a kitten
played with a kitten
played in the yard
ate with guests
decorated a tree
hunted for eggs
sang a song
until this place
Our tabby is purring on my lap.
And now, at some slight provocation -
By me? Or something I can’t hear? -
leaps away, slightly perturbed. Or excited?
Was it that wren morning-calling outside,
or my not-hospitable-enough lap?
No bother, now she grooms herself
to remove any traces of that
acrid human scent left on her fur.
Primate sweat tinged with the vegetables
of a previous monkey meal.
How did a tiger come to live with apes?