like a bloodshot eye
with a black pupil

crab-walking across my knee
a blacklegged tick

oh lovely horror
i take three photos

then decapitate
with a persistent thumbnail

the meek are inheriting the earth
with increasing speed

last night i came home
to an old cocoon

from one of the giant silkworms
lying on my doorstep

fabricated from a single leaf
like a dolma tied with silk

long since vacated
and weathered to old gold

and now the wind has taken
some interest in it

this empty shroud
that gave birth to wings

and to think i almost didn’t
crouch down to look

where does it come from
this disinclination

to get down close
and attend to the details

where the devil is said to dwell
among the flies

forefeet coming together
like prayerful hands

that’s what will finish us off
the piety of carrion-lovers

i tell a clump of sagging puffballs
on a stump beside the trail

their blunderbusses pointed
up down and sideways

i give one a tap
the smallest gray cloud of spores

spurts out and rides
off on the wind

Plummer’s Hollow, February 9, 2024

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