Today's poem is by Lee Ann Roripaugh


L Candela

The eggs burn softly
in the earth, and when glow worms
hatch out, ravenous,

each one comes with a tiny
bright square of light like

the view-hole to a
furnace notched in its belly.
Can you feel their heat?

Their hunger for the tender
moonstruck flesh of slugs and snails?

2. Lambert

Sometimes at night, fire
flies are startled by lightning,
the tympani-drum flutter

of thunder rumbling the storm
home, and they all flash at once

in surprise—a quick
blinking open of sleepy
green nocturnal eyes,

a phosphorescent murmur:
Go back to sleep. It's just rain

3. Lumen

How vulnerable
we would all be if longing
shone through our bodies,

if our skins were translucent
lanterns flushed with yellow flame

leaping in the strange
and unpredictable winds
of our desire, like

the neon Morse code fireflies
use to brazenly flick the night.

4. Luciferin

You are a dusky
angel drawn to the gleaming
beam of my porch light,

a brief embered orange blaze
from your cigarette, sizzle

of sparks splattering
the asphalt of my sidewalk.
Your touch like sooty

moth wings, and I glow, suffused
with your heat, your scent, your light.

Copyright © 2009 Lee Ann Roripaugh All rights reserved
from On the Cusp of a Dangerous Year
Southern Illinois University Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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