Supply Chain

Drippingly by grips, this humus and perlite nearly sings
          through my fingers
circling the ditch lily’s heat-sunk side, anthers frayed, fallen.
          Sift. Learn your footprint.
If occasion, rise to. Another bloom, opposite, grows blood
          orange its splayed
open hand, in shade, still opulent, curls tender, having the time
          of its life.
Let’s get the basics, the survey says. Sight says, turning,
          the cat’s sprawled
besides the baby rat it found and above the scalp thin lawn
          through the window
the children are watching. Where do you live? What’s under your
          roof? What brushes
up, by now, is summer burnt grass in scorch and stubble with
          the rat who will not
move. Lent pallor. Light gray lumpen weight. How many rooms
          do you own? Keep
digging, mom, get to china, they call out, when I work the plant
          free, its dirt
tumbling thick with rooted tendrils reaching. Are you a gadget
          geek, a regular
joe, or technophone? Plus crumbs, wedged in pine cones,
earthworm ruts. There’s nothing I can’t touch here if I want
          to or disturb,
teeming sum of what we’re built on, soil damps beside dry
          pockets, clay
at the spade end gone that unctuous apricot yellow. Refine
          your results.
The cat’s long patient, knows what her hurt can do.
          She waits, ginger
lines of her fur circling. What’s on your plate/
          in your medicine
cabinet/jewelry box/garage? I look closer. The infant rodent
          is trembling.
Another child, not mine, labors deep to find the shine,
          sorting pebbles
through her fingers. Make progress. Take action.
not permitted distance. When the prey finally moves,
          jumps a few inches, the cat
closes in, takes the injured flaccid thing into his jaws
          for the kill
and carries it almost like a kitten across the lawn.
          My hand crushes
the dark stamens and the littlest child
at the rat’s last squeal, begins to scream best,
is the best day of my life, and I have to walk back inside.