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DR. LABORATTI


It’s the day Dr. Laboratti died three years ago,
his hands in my mind’s eye like white birds
banished to the sunken field of his chest.

The static of the morning news is hushed
behind me as I walk out hunched with the weight
of my work which is slung from my shoulder

in an old bag, its zippered pockets jangling
like coins in a beggar’s cup, its leather skin
nearly as black as the black widow spider

that preens like a jewel from the shutters
of my kitchen window. Would anyone feel it
if I crushed her, this poisonous darling,

with a flick of my shoe, sealing forever
the tiny trap door in the tide of morning’s light?
With a heel in my fist, I stop and marvel

at her delicate star, her thread-like mooring.
As I tug gently at her web, she falls like a speck
into the hedge and hunts there still.

 

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