let me do the talking. last night, a wolf spider
sweltered in the bedroom, all crouched up
and angry on the pink duvet. while i corralled
it into a tupperware, you opened the door
to the front yard—guided my hand to a patch
of zinnias where we urged the spider to begin
anew. we make a good team. a loving team.
still, as we searched the 10pm sky for ursa
major, door ajar, a one-legged cricket screeched
into my bedroom, following the spider’s path.
movement: a fact of summer. back to today.
you say you swear the pastoral is running
away from us. like crickets. like my mother
bare knuckle bargain shopping at the grocery
store where i work, gathering up the 2for5s
and the half-offs like lost children. what are
we about to lose? the red-shouldered hawk
is back in the pasture by the roadside.
there’s no country club yet on this swollen,
stolen land. the rain gauge said we got two
inches last night. and anyway, if the pastoral
is running away then the urban is devouring.
mouth angry with a diorama of spit and myth
and mayhem. once, at my old high school,
a boy ate a goldfish whole at prom—giddy
on a dare. it beat its fins against his teeth
as he steeled his jaw and swallowed. later,
when he vomited up the fish, it was dead.
bones popped, body suffocated into the tight
nothing of his esophagus. you say when i move
to the city that’ll be me: swallowed. still,
we can survive. let’s pop our bones and be
happy. press your finger into the knot between
my shoulder blade and spine. go on. go on.
rub away the grocery store cashier back pain
and senioritis stress. truth be told, i’d do
anything for you to kiss me how the stockers
put food on the shelves. one after another after
another, trying their best to make things fit.