Firefly by Michael Channing


by Michael Channing

cricket calliope
cotton candy
one horizon melted by the sun
row of flags fluttering over the lake

waiting for the skies to burst
burning my name in the air with a sparkler
feeding the ducks the crust of my sandwich
chasing pulsing orbs of yellow

pinch insects from the air
stuff them in a jar and tighten the lid

magic of my own
a jar of fire and life
shake away the darkness
with a fistful of amber explosions

granny calls and spreads a blanket
points at the firemen readying the rockets

i want to sit by the water
watch them put flame to the fuses

she wraps her bony fingers around my arm
jerks me to the blanket beside her
both smell like dust and cough drops
i cross my legs, rest my chin on the jar

granny pinches my cheek
punches my shoulder
and snakes away the glow-glass
freeing the captives with a twist

retreating stars
flee towards the blossoming sky

but one remains between granny's nails
blinks and buzzes and worries its wings

she smiles
and smears the firefly across my shirt
the streak of glowing guts lasts four seconds

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Chokes and Warbles
Now Available

Chokes and Warbles, a collection of essays and poems by Michael Channing