If I fell in love with a meadow cricket
because she was sad, because of her enormous dark eyes,
we’d disappoint my family and scandalize
the neighbors by sitting all night on the huge rock
by Mr. Shepherd’s bluegill pond.
The grass would crunch beneath my feet:
edged with frost, blond and brittle. I’d offer her
a spinach leaf, a drop of my own spittle on a silver coin.
She’d drink and nibble and crouch on my palm,
explaining a cricket’s conception of autumn:
the hollowing cold, the unbearable humility of leafless trees.
I’d sit there quietly, running a finger over her
perfect knobs and ridges, stroking her musical knees,
while, on the pond, thin needles of ice
formed and clicked.
© 2007 University of North Carolina Greensboro