Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Green

Never watched a spider before killing it before.
There were three

lined up across the sill, having made homes
from the two-inch height and foot-long width
between the floor-and-blinds, and wall-and-wall.

I looked at the middle one; it was moving.
At first all three suspended seemed like
family; either maiden sisters or

a mother (the middle one, most buxom)
with two daughters. Three women,
twenty-four thin legs, seventy-two

joints so delicate and fine.
My favorite girl was
doing something strange with hers.

Three of her pale-green limbs kept bending
as if caught deep in exercising grand pliés.
She kicked so vigorously I thought

for a second she must be dying.
But the control!—each of the three
returned to her face (or chest; my eyes

are not that good), and seemed to slide
along a fourth, something like a cat cleaning,
or a young girl with a sore leg.

I couldn’t tell if it was ritual or purpose.
One of the sisters started running
and freezing along the web

between them. I imagined her head cocked
cautiously toward me, a protective spirit.
The other stood stock-still, giving the impression

of a third act or final movement,
a dénouement.