Three Poems

Cave Cricket

Belly-up, splay-legged, 
bow-backed to the things

in the dark: my mother
will die, my father, my kid.

Licked with dread. What
I can do when you smile

at my limp and crawl,
my see-through legs

rickety and thin. 
What else is there

to do. What else. 
With no sharp mouth. 

No poison. No blades
or fingers.  Bullets. Think.

This. Fling myself

from under the steps, 
and there are more of us

and more, a rush of sticky 
legs and heads so strange, 

so big with pain, so afraid
it looks like fearlessness.


Fear is golden, a cold 
fire on the hill. Its

spread and glitter 
in the wind, clones,

women’s tongues 
set to shiver—

I’ll do something, I

The wind. You
won’t. You’ll bend.

You’ll fall.
Listen harder

for the leaf
to twist, 

to cut the air,
the flat of the knife

all bright edge, 
sure: bring fire

next time
See how

we’re more

Bad Gardener

He’s a stinker, my grandfather 
would say of con men in soaps, 

and true, I am: slime mold 
has run over my stakes, 

and my sweet peas rot. 
A thin green opera of self. 

An operetta? Let’s be 
real. I’m feeding no one.

Fooling,  I mean. Grandpa’s 
groundcherries and truths 

are now weedy feet of earth 
darknetting  between plants, 

plots. Half-facts. A failure,  
a farce.  Force. An odor bad

with broken fungus, 
weird growth twirling 

the wrong way, half diva, half
tech.  Breathe in.  It sucks.

Breathe out to the straggler 
shoving for the sun anyway,

turning the air and water and me 
to itself, making it up.

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