Volume 21, Number 3

Light Gets Dressed in Dirt

Dud lightning bolt or lawn dart hurled from heaven,
this miracle’s mine until the first news van goes live

and the cops tape everything off—though they can’ t
prevent the air from tasting like metallic peppermints.

Soon scientists in viral suits will quarantine the scene
while men in black interrogate me because some magic

bean sprouted overnight in my front yard,
its stalk a giant bubble-wrap of fishbowls,

fishbowls full of rainbows ribboning like eels.
It’s six a.m. on Saturday. The neighborhood’s asleep.

No one sees the tiny hearts and spades on my faded boxers
or the hummingbird’s teal blur orbiting one sphere,

stabbing with its beak. Pissed-off rainbows whiplash
fast as cobras. My sinuses boil with an orgy of wasps.

Corks of ketchup plug my ears. I hardly hear
the scream next door: Mrs. Bergman is awake.

An autumn wind whips up, and I shed memories.
Onionwise, my heart unwraps until nothing’s left

except the tiny wail of sirens in the rising buzz of is,
my feet wide awake in the lawn’s cold bath.

—Michael Kriesel