of molting

the dash of a barely-seen cat
(orangeish with puffy orange-white tail)
across dirt road
into the cover of knee-high soy

blue-black butterfly
in morning (already warm) light
on chunk of gravel in road
wings pulsing
sheen on neck/chest skin
post-run sweat drip
down upper lip
salty stinging in eyes

lack of vetiver i swipe on
the summer spice deodorant
and spend the rest of the day smelling
like someone else

considerably sized praying mantis
brown and green and big-winged
perhaps in the middle of molting
floating dead in hoophouse water barrel
ashby curled/lounged
on/next to me in hammock where i
ruffle through dried brown zinnia blooms
collecting seeds in a gallon bucket

celebrating dad and i’s 45th mom says
and chris and rob’s 20th and
ami and andy’s 10th
brings into focus that

newly bloomed question about
what it means to
stick around
and what it means to
stick around longer


you have my permission
from now on i say to mom
to ask me any question you want
i want to feel connected to you

chair and couch-lounged we discuss
what exactly heat index means
which is predicted to be 95 today

you aren’t married i laugh with mica
during dinner on porch
but you have been an amish newlywed
plenty of times

sounds like it was the best choice
honna says with which it is a relief
(after navigating the confusingnest of conflictions)
to agree


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