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
at the spade end gone that unctuous apricot yellow. Refine
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
Another child, not mine, labors deep to find the shine,
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.