Mantis Season

Andie Klarin

In its hottest corners (under the metal handle
of a watering can, inside a faucet at the perimeter
of the porch’s shade, below the manhole covers
on the black top) the earth is sprouting
small hair-like legs.

In Dallas, dry lighting breathes onto the road
like the sky is drinking the earth through a washcloth.

Back in California, there is a drought.

Eventually, in Michigan, disaster will come
or it will wait a bit and come later on.

When summer begins, sex between creatures
slows to a gentle bloat and things are born
already forgetting their thin white chrysalis
as it erodes into the sand. We learn (through practice,
not instinct) to avoid our silky bellied dead on the beach

as not to attach their bodies to the bottoms of our shoes.
It is comforting to believe this is a blessing from G-d,
all of us eventually ignorant and pressed together, forming
a salt clay. Our baby angels, squawking like crows.

Their new wetness spraying the trail-goers.
Startling the ones who pass by in a distracted trance.
They call to the streets for a doctor. Something new
forces its way through their skin.

Andie Klarin is a queer Jewish poet. They was born and raised in Southern California and they’re finally back (after quite some time) to pursue their MFA in poetry from the University of California, Irvine. In their spare time, they enjoy cooking, wandering, reading, writing, and observing birds. You can find them on Twitter @Andie_Klarin, on Instagram @andieklarin, or in real life somewhere in the woods.

© Variant Literature Inc 2021