by Melissa Dickson
That summer I counted eight, nine, ten.
Under upturned flower pots,
behind the gutter spout, in the drink cup
of an outgrown stroller. The children
had never seen anything so black.
Black as funeral boots, I said; black
as an ebonized chest; black
as my skillet, oil-rubbed, glistening;
black as Vulcan’s ass. We sprayed
them with bleach, poured gasoline
in their nests, thrust sticks in the breaches
of mortar—dying to call out
that enchanted globe of belly,
infinity mirror. Her hourglass,
aflame, hidden even in the pleats
of jade rising inside my den.