Insect

the book is about
insects — on a porch swing
my feet dangle in the air
and I teach my grandfather everything
about moths and earwigs

and when I get to spiders
his hand shoots through the air clenches
brings his fist to my chest
peels back his fingers — shows me the fire
fly in his palm — carefully

he turns the insect
over — all six legs grasp
the air — he delicately
tears its glowing
abdomen off — sticks it to my index
finger — I fall

asleep in his arms
that night — watching
my new ring grow
dim — both of us
bathed in neon light


This first appeared in The Boiler.

Image via Flickr user Jeff Turner. Image has been cropped.