by Sam Barbee
Fireflies celebrate solstice, each starburst
a perfect plunge. Provide pulse, bedazzle outlines
of maple and holly, black fringe against silver midnight.
The night-ocean submerges each silhouette.
Random flickers off each leaf, bats and night birds
breaststroke in moonlight. Rocking behind the porch screen,
we excuse today’s malice. We sway, once fulfilled
to witness little, now witness everything.
Find ballast for each grievous sting. Frogs, buoyant
about a neighbor’s pool, belch, deafen us with their rippling joy –
arouse what we can imagine tomorrow: cloudless
altar and truer tongues dispelling snarls of revision.
We are heroes, backstroking darkness, doing our best
to retain esteem. In the morning we will bury dry bulbs
like beads, plant the seeds and husks for blooms: colorful waves
to cleanse remorse and rhetoric; splice regret with awe we are eager to tread.