will eat the dead mosquitoes.

I could ask him what poison

there was in his air, what he ate

and drank as a boy that made him.

Do I call, listen

to his silence,

the soft chug

of his breath?

Do I call, say, “this

is your son and I’ve been thinking

of cancer ’cause the orange men

are coming to spray the trees?”

Or do I just

fasten the windows,

caulk the cracks, pull

the picnic table inside,

      hope nothing gets in.



First published in Tomorrow, We Will Live Here, 2010.