by Jacqueline Boucher
Jacqueline Boucher lives and writes in Kansas, where she serves as poetry editor for Lammergeier Magazine. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The McNeese Review, New South, Glass, and other magazines. Her life's ambitions are to write a book-length love letter to Hannibal Lecter and to convince her cats to pay rent. She can be found on Twitter @jacqueboucher.
Self-Portrait with Overturned June Beetle
My friend and I catch your glint,
wiggling penny on the concrete.
Belly up, your tarsi wading hazy
through the cruelty of a hot
September sky. I right you,
but not before I squat to see
myself reflected in your abdomen,
before I snap a photo of your thigh.
Like you, I am sun drunk, & I can’t
tell sweat from tears from floodwater
for the way each collects on my lip, on
the small of my back. Like you,
I am dazzled by the breadth of prairie sky.
Later, I will learn of the way your mandible
spoils the flesh of a peach, that the surest way
to kill you is a disease that looks like milk,
like sex. What stone fruit did I condemn
in leading you to the lip of a puddle?
What sweet corpses will you leave
along the lawn because I wanted to save
a beautiful dying thing?
Forgive me my gawking.
Forgive the things I could have done
to keep them safe. We could all use a drink
of water, a chance to get right.