Overdressed this morning in my green shirt + pink jacket + black vest. Windy and gray. No snow. Listened to a playlist and didn’t think about much. Too far from the river to see it. Briefly ran on Lake Street. Lots of cars, but only one a few people walking. What else do I remember? The gutters were cluttered with dead leaves. The pavement was wet–was it from street sweepers? Favorite song to run to: Harry Styles’ “Treat People with Kindness.”
ABECEDARIAN FOR THE DANGEROUS ANIMALS/ Catherine Peirce
All frantic and drunk with new warmth, the bees
buzz and blur the holly bush.
Don’t be afraid. Or do, but
everything worth admiring can sting or somber.
Fix your gaze upward and
give bats their due,
holy with quickness and echolocation:
in summer’s bleakest hum, the air
judders and mosquitoes blink out,
knifed into small quick mouths. Yes,
lurking in some unlucky bloodstreams
might be rabies or histoplasmosis, but almost
no one dies and you
owe the bats for your backyard serenity.
Praise the cassowary, its ultraviolet head, its
quills and purposeful claws. Only one
recorded human death, and if a boy
swung at you, wouldn’t you rage back? Or P.
terribilis, golden dart frog maligned by Latin,
underlauded and unsung, enough poison to
vex two elephants into death but ardent
with eggs and froglets, their protection a neon
xyston. And of course,
yes, humans. Remarkable how our
zeal for safety manifests: poison, rifle, vanishment.
I love this abecedarian. What a great ending! And the descriptions throughout: so good. I think I ‘d like to compose an abecedarian using facts from my vision research this fall.