Sitting beside a fire, the poet pleads for a sign

June 22, 2022

Bumbling out of the night,
something veers near the fire,
wings seared swiftly away;
it squirms in the suburbs of the blaze.

Oh, deathwish beetle,
clutzy buzz of immolation,
hard-backed, inadequate Shadrach . . .

When it stills, I place the shell
on the pyre. Another dives, dies,
smashing into a surrounding stone,
writhes and writhes.

Flame-kissed Phyllophaga,
acorn-armored Icarus,
my faithful antiangel . . .

Then another with the same suicide piety.
I cremate both. Another. It crashes
into the singed grass, thrashing, winglessly,
as it crawls back into the flame.

Little Junebug,
oddball doombug,
how to save you from your god?