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A closed lid is my soul’s flesh-eye.
O spirits of whom my soul is but a little finger,
Direct it to the lid of its flesh-eye.

—Jean Toomer, from “Prayer,” from Cane

I’m looking at you, blue bug.

Shrink then, sneak into the curtains
‘cuz they’re blue too.

I don’t care.
I’d rather you go.
Or stay.
But I’ll pretend you went.

Little blue bugs always come back.
They have lots of friends, also blue.
Glossy blue, like an art director painted them
just for this one appearance.

Antennae waving crazy–
God knows why–
Announcing a need, maybe.

get me the hell out of here

I’m watching you,
little blue bug.
Shrinking and hiding
Not very noble

& the legions of bugs behind you
why are they waiting?
Should I look for them,
deny their existence,
prepare to defend?

Antennae can’t answer.
They’re just receivers.
Passive, unfortunately.

Bug, where’d you come from?
Some worker knocked open a hole in the wall.
Well-intentioned, an older guy, watery eyes, Irish fellow–