Friday, August 16, 2019

Empire of the Fireflies by Lauren Scharhag

Spring now:
the great pulse and push,
bulbs thrusting upwards
at their earthen ceilings,
stalks raw and cut-looking,
gasping at the sky.
Buds burst forth,
painfully wet and green
as exposed nerve endings,
still clenching secrets,
like modesty,
of petal and leaf.
Thawed pond, where koi
shy away, in the throes
of hibernation hangover,
from the hand that
scatters the feed pellets.
Songbirds screech,
all insistence,
quickening tempo,
soaring rush, all haste
toward their mate and
blind, pink children
quivering in a nest
of shell and reeds,
needy maws.
Want begets want.
Wanderlust surges
like sap, overflowing,
seeping from bark,
a sticky tide that sweeps
thoughts away
from the mundane
and onto the lilac paths,
airborne, where dog-star nights
and trenchant heat await.
Sloe-colored dusk. Fireflies.
Like eyelids, like empires,
they fall and rise
and fall again.

Lauren Scharhag is the author of eleven books, including West Side Girl & Other Poems and Requiem for a Robot Dog (Cajun Mutt Press). Her work has appeared in over 100 literary venues around the world. She is the recipient of the Door is a Jar Award and the Gerard Manley Hopkins Award for poetry, as well as a fellowship from Rockhurst University for fiction. She lives in Kansas City, MO. To learn more about her work, visit:

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