/mary buchinger

The miracle of jet fuel

      the burn and lift into clouds resolve
this  resolve that  o deep pocket of sky

guilty   dirty I fly   such joy in the loft!
every uncontainable shore skitters and
scalds below me   clouds and contrails
curtain the city   fur highway lights
two sleepy planes circle the night and
one bright star once on   fire too   its
light propelled across miles of time
burning   we burn flying   over the coast
that angles off into the bridgework and
geometry of the built world   the living
dying   starry world    

Caelifera: The Chisel-Bearers

What did you give up for that iridescent wing?

              the larger sky   the bowl of blue
              the arms of the grey brown giants who rule

              I wander and whistle
              in the forests of grass

How do you hinge? such sharp departures
so little oil

I have leathery wings
and veined wings

                    claws       spurs     spines

             five moults brought me here

Do you course with Betelgeuse?
  are you made of circumstellar dust?

haemolymph is what flows through me
                   my grasshopper heart
             pumps and percolates my gin

I most ancient of the chewing herbivores
         am a miracle of spiracles

               my midgut Malpighian tubules
                  hum with the sun and rain
                    of a million millennia

Winged   walker how is it you hopscotch
and skip   what child lives within you?

              I launch myself into flight

this is how I do it: flex, contract, extend
                        bow and arrow I am

Do you ache when you sing?
strumming into dusk

               I stridulate when I’m happy
                  and the weather is lovely
                    dry leg against dry wing

                          I say Let’s have babies
               I say Let’s stick together
                              I say I feel so very fine today

How do you know what you know?

             I set my setae and palps
                erect and sensing

                I keep my tympanal organ

Why weren’t you named Phosphorus
or Flash or ssssssssssssssssssssssss
for your incessant scissoring?
                What does your chisel do?

                  the chisel makes us us
              it burrows down into earth
            nudges away detritus
              we place our eggs in a pod
                  glued with froth
                 cover them over

                  our chisels sharpened
                      against death

Mary Buchinger is the author of six poetry collections, including Virology (2022), /klaʊdz/ (2021), and e i n f ü h l u n g/in feeling (2018). She serves on the New England Poetry Club board and teaches at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Boston. www.MaryBuchinger.com.