Arts & Culture » Poetry

Poem: Living in the Body of a Firefly

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Cotton mouthed, hung over, I wake up in my sooty dress
somehow ashamed to be seen in the utter waste

of daylight. The barbecue with all those mint juleps
on the verandah was intense but I strayed too long on the edge

of a glass. I long for a quiet train trestle, wood and paint
chipping off, not those city lights where I am one of millions.

I'm not fooled by the low murmurings of the river,
cattails to luxuriate in, but danger in the deep-throated

baritone of frogs. Damselflies are entirely self-involved
and bossy, known to eat out of their own behinds. Never mind,

there's safety in numbers. A neighbor has an easy split
in a porch screen and as I'm on a tear of wild nights

before I die, I've set my sights on their cathedral ceiling.
In the sway of tall grasses his youngest cups her hands

around me to pray. I am coveted in the moist chapel of fingers.
Tonight, I'll hang around until they are all half lidded-drowsy.

I'll skitter down to her favorite blanket where she'll wish
upon me like I am the last star falling, the last creature on earth.

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