Pill bug, he says. I say, roly poly. As a child I would collect them like pewter beads, gingerly with bare hands. And ladybugs, garnet cabochons corralled in my front yard. Usher aphids into my grass kingdom. He tells me ants are the only animals who farm—herding aphids, harvesting their dew. The sweet milk of their labor, which when used by bees can turn honey dark as a storm cloud or stout. These things stick with him, with me too. Little lives we might flatten without a word. Little worlds we play no part in. He writes a poem about dragonflies, pinning them to the page. I close my eyes: at a pond outside Seoul, my boy father plucks stained glass wings from the cathedrals of their torsos. A detail I could not omit, even here. Dragonflies, darners, devil’s needles. Severing flight from body, what language did he have for them?
Lightning bug, firefly
I say grass lit like heaven
Is it a violence?
Megan Kim is a poet from Southern Oregon, currently enjoying Midwestern lakes. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Rumpus, Hobart, Lantern Review, and Narrative Magazine, among others. She is an MFA candidate in creative writing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she also teaches. She reads for Palette Poetry.