Brennen McDowell


fireflies are doomed to poetry and children.

anything can that create light from itself

deserves verse


isnt smashing them on the ground

and taking their glow out of them

some sort of fun

or the baseball bat homerun hit

they make a nice flick sound

on contact

and boy

if boys dont like killing bugs

they wouldnt be much use

for moms.


but me

i was never able to do it

i couldnt swing


make that ping

if something is so beautiful


turning on and off


what good is murder

for one second

of wow

against a nighttime of

earth stars twinkling


as other kids hit them

making shooting stars

I shrugged

and saw one

who held his light too long

(he only wanted to pass the torch)

and caught him

across my fingers

his tickling toes


so gentle and nice

he was okay with me

and I was okay with him.

then he flew off my fingertips


struck down with a bat

and a laugh.


this summer it was dark

I realized now why

the fireflies that were left

packed their bags

and lit out,

snuffed refugees

from a time

when the summer air held stars,

and the sky

was but a trying reflection

of heaven on earth.

Euphemism Campus Box 5555 Illinois State University Normal, IL 61790