green grasshopper
[ This image is in the public domain. ]


A grasshopper squats
on my toppled boot in the hall,
a leather stage where
he persists in playing
his autodidact notes to the scattered
journals and ripped out paper scraps
twitching in the air
from the floor fan.

I lie on my chest, stare at his polished
blood bags for eyes.
His greenness is lucid and vile.
Green walks on green, with clearer green
grouting his wings like some immaculate
stenciling on a living sketchpad.

I open my hand for him like an arriving
limousine and he stops
his grating legs but will not step in.
I pinch him up.
He is as light as the whisper
of the word origami, but his rest
is not without great tension.

I find a spot in the dirt
of my apartment’s exterior window box
and plant the recitalist abed
surrounded by cacti
with their arms thrown wide
in ovation.

In this new frenzied amphitheater
I wait to behold the scene I’ve orchestrated.

But his collar holds him stiff, like the high
brace of a whiplash patient.
His song is not.

A broken instinct conducts him
to leap, to remove
his bodily instrument out
to a far obscurity, fifteen stories
down to the hard gray beneath,
erased along the way.