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Fireflies

And these are my vices:

impatience, bad temper, wine,

the more than occasional cigarette,

an almost unquenchable thirst to be kissed,

a hunger that isn’t hunger

but something like fear, a staunching of dread

and a taste for bitter gossip

of those who’ve wronged me—for bitterness—

and flirting with strangers and saying sweetheart

to children whose names I don’t even know

and driving too fast and not being Buddhist

enough to let insects live in my house

or those cute little toylike mice

whose soft gray bodies in sticky traps

I carry, lifeless, out to the trash

and that I sometimes prefer the company of a book

to a human being, and humming

and living inside my head

and how as a girl I trailed a slow-hipped aunt

at twilight across the lawn

and learned to catch fireflies in my hands,

to smear their sticky, still-pulsing flickering

onto my fingers and earlobes like jewels.

from CarpathiaFind it in the library

Copyright © BOA Editions, Ltd 2009
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of BOA Editions LTD.

Published in Cecilia Woloch Poems

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