Tuesday, January 08, 2008


Note: Written in 1998, this poem reflects memories of summers in Mississippi--Fourth of July celebrations and late nights at the lighted public tennis courts where all the bugs came to tan.

Just under the dew lies the heat of the day
stamped on the abdomens of carpenter ants.
Crickets push their fires in the early 4am
of human indifference. June bugs are
always early in April, toasted mild chocolate
rust from their mid-winter vacations.
They cling to our screens and shoe soles
waiting for a chance to show off the summer
they brought us. Gnats cluster in our breath
jumping in and out of shallow water
telling craw-dad cousins the early demise of
train track mud relatives.

Little legs carry anklets of tobacco spittle
away from coach-pitch bleachers
across the outfield to lay-cold slabs frying daily
10-5pm. Bed warmers for the horned, the hard shelled.

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