Streetlights out again I'm walking in the dark lugging groceries up the steps to the porch whose yellow bulb is about to go too, when a single familiar strand intersects my face, the filament slides across my glasses which seem suddenly perfectly clean, fresh, and my whole tired day slows down walking into such a giant thread is a surprise every time, though I never kill them, I carry them outside on plastic lids or open books, they live so plainly and eat the mosquitoes. Distant cousins to the scorpion, mine are pale & small, dark & discreet. More like the one who lived in the corner of the old farm kitchen under the ivy vase and behind the single candle-pot--black with curved crotchety legs. Maya, weaver of illusions, how is it we trust the web, the nest, the roof over our heads, we trust the stars our guardians who gave us our alphabet? We trust the turtle's shell because it, too, says house and how can we read the footprints of birds on shoreline sand, & October twigs that fall to the ground in patterns that match the shell & stars? I feel less and less like a single self, more like a weaver, myself, spelling out formulae from what's given and from words.
From Reactor by Judith Vollmer. Copyright © 2004 by Judith Vollmer. Reprinted by permission of the University of Wisconsin Press. All rights reserved.