A kid said you could chew road tar if you got it before it cooled, black globule with a just-forming skin. He said it was better than cigarettes. He said he had a taste for it. On the same road, a squirrel was doing the Watusi to free itself from its crushed hindquarters. A man on a bicycle stomped on its head, then wiped his shoe on the grass. It was autumn, the adult word for fall. In school we saw a film called Reproduction. The little snake-father poked his head into the slippery future, and a girl with a burned tongue was conceived.
The clouds’ disintegrating script
spells out the word squander.
Tree shadows lie down in the field.
Clipped to a grass blade’s underside,
a crisp green grasshopper
weighs down the tip,
swaying between birth and death.
I’ll think of him as we clink
glasses with the guests,
eating olives as the sun goes down.