A STORY ABOUT THE BODY

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

Savoring

What might be your final

Pain.

 

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?