The miracle of jet fuel
the burn and lift into clouds resolve
this resolve that o deep pocket of sky
guilty dirty I fly such joy in the loft!
every uncontainable shore skitters and
scalds below me clouds and contrails
curtain the city fur highway lights
two sleepy planes circle the night and
one bright star once on fire too its
light propelled across miles of time
burning we burn flying over the coast
that angles off into the bridgework and
geometry of the built world the living
dying starry world
Caelifera: The Chisel-Bearers
What did you give up for that iridescent wing?
the larger sky the bowl of blue
the arms of the grey brown giants who rule
I wander and whistle
in the forests of grass
How do you hinge? such sharp departures
so little oil
I have leathery wings
and veined wings
claws spurs spines
five moults brought me here
Do you course with Betelgeuse?
are you made of circumstellar dust?
haemolymph is what flows through me
my grasshopper heart
pumps and percolates my gin
I most ancient of the chewing herbivores
am a miracle of spiracles
my midgut Malpighian tubules
hum with the sun and rain
of a million millennia
Winged walker how is it you hopscotch
and skip what child lives within you?
I launch myself into flight
this is how I do it: flex, contract, extend
bow and arrow I am
Do you ache when you sing?
strumming into dusk
I stridulate when I’m happy
and the weather is lovely
dry leg against dry wing
I say Let’s have babies
I say Let’s stick together
I say I feel so very fine today
How do you know what you know?
I set my setae and palps
erect and sensing
I keep my tympanal organ
Why weren’t you named Phosphorus
or Flash or ssssssssssssssssssssssss
for your incessant scissoring?
What does your chisel do?
the chisel makes us us
it burrows down into earth
nudges away detritus
we place our eggs in a pod
glued with froth
cover them over
our chisels sharpened
Mary Buchinger is the author of six poetry collections, including Virology (2022), /klaʊdz/ (2021), and e i n f ü h l u n g/in feeling (2018). She serves on the New England Poetry Club board and teaches at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Boston. www.MaryBuchinger.com.