Summer’s last hope on the edge of the window screen:
the roach who flits his wings and tries,
higher, then lower, to get through. The rest content
to scour books and hide in the copper
of my jar of pennies. Or dangle off coat hangers
in the closet. Or sleep a dark sleep
in the corners of the ceiling. Wherever stuck—no twitch
of antennae to translate the match struck
for the oil lamp’s wick, or my belt buckle’s chime,
or even the sound of pages turned
as a reason to move – they become shadow. This late,
I hardly dare to move either.
The scratching at the screen dies. This one is learning,
has smacked himself to frustration.
Will he, like the rest, lay down in what there is,
and become shadow? Will I be here,
my brown wings tucked away, with only these focused
forms of attention to confide in?
Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 18, Issue 3.
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