hearts quaver
in somber wake
of laggard lapses,
a crystal clarity

 

all faith denied

 

minds slow and sedate
in earnest repose
free of unseemly query

 

bodies recoil,
horror vivid
and unyielding,
incautious and unwise

 

darkness

sparing none

The complexity of the leaftode (leafus arachnidias) has astonished the scientific community since its discovery in 1957. Half-human, half-arachnid, the leaftode has enjoyed a resurgence these past twelve hundred years. Some point to the melting ice caps, others the demise of ancient Greece. This orange-red, bristly invertebrate makes its home among the sheltering leaves and branches of the oak, the linden and the chanticleer pear. These tiny beings, nomads of the arboreal, romp and play with a ferocity becoming noble warriors of the realm. Slip-hopping from leaf to leaf, the joyful leaftode shimmies with mammalian-ecstasy amidst its signature cries of munny-CHEEP!, munny-CHEEP! in the early spring when temperatures begin to hover above sixty-seven degrees (F). Leaftodes, due to the hybridic nature of the species, chiefly feed off the discarded waste of homo sapiens. They also crave, in the colder months, tree wax, shoelaces and hard plastic. Because reading material is hard to come by, what with the logistics of transport and the vagaries of atmospheric conditions in its home range of the Midwestern United States (the leaftode DOES reside in the out-of-doors), the intellectual acumen of this 5-legged, dual-sectioned species leaves (pun intended) much to be desired. But I would never hold that against them.

you were just in the right place
at the very wrong time

for me
for my future
for every dream
I’d not yet allowed
myself to dream

all that followed
hailed true
to that awkward discovery

no pleasure, tenderness none
just shame and regret

methinks you knew exactly what you were doing

Grit sustains me.
I hold on both soft and tight,
a self-embrace unlike no other.
Conspirators
seek to overlay
to coexist
amid my red-blue veins,
these emanating cords of my within.

My words belong to me.

Mine to invert as I please.
Mine to wrestle, to subjugate
to contemplate, to savor.
Mine to coalesce toward
my own redress.
Others’ steely wits resolve to upend
yet I remain true.

That lovely muscle
that beats for —and of — me,
moving toward
benign forbearing,
loyalty to self: rewarded.
These peaceful pebbles glisten just for me.

I care not if for no other.