smoking after (20170927)

two mantises
on the wall
a darker smaller male
and a larger green female

not sure if i should
put on the barry white records
or if they even need that
or even if it’s the season
for lovin’

i’m sure the female eats
the male later
not because the sex was bad
or because the bastard
just impregnated her for life

the reason for the
post coital cannibalism
is that
he’s not into cuddling after
and he’s not big
on talking

that’s why she goes for the head

sunset with insect (20161016)

the mantis
caught in my flashlight beam
gold and long as a finger

always our habit
to move everything to safety
–worms after the rain
or a leaking sprinkler
–spiders in the tub
–even yelling at the squirrels
/my mortal enemies/
tarrying in the street

i put my hand down
on the swidewalk
he needs a nudge but crawls onto
the meaty part of my index finger

this elicits a response
from a walker
heading in the other direction
they’re good luck, he says
and i’ve heard it’s illegal to kill them

i find a bush
hard to tell what it is
in the dark
and offer him his escape

he wraps himself around me
like a promise ring
maybe he likes the warmth
or he’s tired of all that walking
or maybe he’s just lonely

but i coax him off
onto the relative safety of the plant