Remembering insects in Genova, Italy
Insects here are so dark
it is difficult to distinguish
them from night. Distracted
by their ebony, I lose track
of the precision of each jaw
and sting, delicate and powerful
as earbones. That’s the funny
thing about colour, it can reassure
you one moment, deceive you another.
The subtlest changes register
like tremors leading up to an earth
quake, hitting when we least expect it.
the nesting rain
tells me. Swans
stitch new habitats
out of the river
and reeds, the moon
moves in a sack
of sky. Conversations
huddle in the colour
coded nerves of a pay
phone. My baby son
rests his head against
my chest, the sound
of a bird that has travelled
far echoing in his breathing,
followed by rustling,
as if building shelter.
We regurgitated A-Bomb, Nagasaki,
Hiroshima like wasps building
a nest out of everything that has
been chewed upon, deliberated.
Words bitter as newsprint turned
our stomachs. Some rushed to bathrooms,
others sat and breathed deeply
to cleanse out the mushroom clouds
suspended inside of us. One, a boy
who would later die from cancer, went
outside and stuck his tongue out
as if expecting to taste snowflakes
because everything suddenly became
white, so beautifully white.
Christian Ward is a 28 year old London based poet. His work has appeared in Diagram, The Kenyon Review, Welter and elsewhere.