Lightning Bugs—part of the collection, Shapes of Man

Jeff Hardin    
(Phoenix, Arizona)

Arrived late from a wedding,
I walked outside to the porch
Of her parents’ place, still dizzy,
And lit a smoke.

Line of light nearby.
Zip of yellow green across the way.
Starts and stops at impossible angles,
In the air and all around.

Parched eyes clumsily rubbed,
I staggered through the lawn.
With each step, a greater fear.
With each flash, a sickening glimpse of the insane.

Her hand slipped around my arm,
In caress, as she leaned against me.
A warm breath in my ear:
“Do you like the lightning bugs?”