Spring 2006: Issue 79

Martin Arnold

Anger can erupt like a lawn mower pieced together

Suddenly exploding

Yellow jackets


But it’s a mistake to thank fate

For the extra skin of denim

Draped around your tender ankles


If you’re unwilling to indict it

For your failure to engineer a kill switch

Or to wear a shirt

Those stingers can’t penetrate.


It’s not to blame when

The cloud of dust and dry grass

Churning through the blades

Above the evacuated rabbit hole

Transforms into a golden cloud

Of switchblades.


The sun doesn’t drop any slower

For anyone

But you

As you circle the yard


What might be your final



And isn’t anger like this—festering

Inside you all week until

It squeezes out through your skin

Leaving welts as it electrifies the air

Into a swarm so territorial


That you can’t—though you try to—

Outrun it?