Ground – dry and vast, split by a great crack,
a ravine, deep like a sticky smile –
holds host beneath the arch of the clear
Milky Way to a candle, single
and thick on a shallow pedestal.
The soft orange flame flickers pallid
under the heavy night, draws like a
beacon a dragonfly to its warmth.
Wings of veins and opaque papyrus
flutter quick around and down, legs touch
the ground one by one while great wide eyes
linger upward on the heat dancing
free like Shiva in the callous breeze.

Up the side, a cockroach crawls along
the shaft, its carapace shining in
the light, small eyes of asperity
accumulated through immortal
ages of sidewalk and monks with no
brooms. It creeps; the dragonfly spreads its
wings, meets it at the apex before
the flame, all antennae entangled,
a terraformation in the air.

On the crown in the calefaction,
the cockroach and the dragonfly lay,
the avaricious breeze whipping in
sultry ire on back and wing; the
light slipped and snuffed out. Cruel cutting wind
a canopy over the lusters
shaking violently in their tepid
anticipation, a physical
response to the metaphysical
void, and so exhausted from the cold
exertion, the dragonfly wonders
what option is there but to lay wrapped in wind
and die, to pass through skin to skin and pray for
the circle to end?

Awake! Awake! The sun a blister
in the atmosphere, the dragonfly
stretches to spread its wings… Again, again;
paper covered in an asperous
shell shining beneath the searing sun.
Small eyes adjust to narrow vision
and absorb a wan and distant sky.

Across the cadaverous soil,
a man approaches sweeping a broom
before his steps (all fat jelly legs
and mold fingers, his eyes of deign and
asperity). He stopped before the
cockroach, watched it struggle to fly and

fail. Broom lifted; foot fall; crush and mess and
the man held a funeral for his shoe.