Mickey J. Corrigan – 3 POEMS


The cockroach wasp
stings her host
in the brain
and the roach is enslaved
enacting wasp desires
bearing wasp eggs
until they hatch.

The roach brain
being the size
of the dot
on this “i”
or smaller.

When the eggs hatch
offspring live off
the host roach,
emerge fully grown.

When the cockroach wasp
does what comes natural
to carry on
her species
we marvel at her skill
innate, precise, deadly—

you, my cockroach wasp
and I, your willing roach.


Phyllostachys bambusoides

a species of bamboo
grows and flourishes
for a hundred years,
then flowers
en masse—
a stand, a forest,
seeds and scent and beauty
before quickly dying.

We just fall apart

drifting through long years
the long days empty
of those who passed
who loved and left
us and one thing
after another, parts that seize
thoughts that flee and hours
drifting like snow.

Be the bamboo tree—
ripen, thrust, bloom
in a blaze of useless glory
then drop, giving back
to the depleted earth
where we are all
rooted together.


In Our Neighbor’s Pool

We are naked, it’s late
the night dark and lit up
we sink together
below the surface, lean bodies
submerged in black water
dirty ash embers that float
singe our skin
when we come up for air
to seek time by a moon
hidden in thick smoke
floating in the other half
of a beautiful California sky.

You nod to me as you go
under again to gather the bones
your ancestors have left for you. I am
empty, out of clean air to hold.

If life
is a series of refusals
we said yes to the stripping,
to frigid water, the fiery night
to the death run, hot rage
to live
stronger than the burning world.

When the shit is streaming
we are together
through gasps of dry chill
watch it all go up
the cars char skeletons
the trees inflamed pillars
houses hollowed out, everything
crayoned gray in the ghost mists.

We built our nest
fluffed the glossy feathers
made love and babies
gathered trinkets
from the outside world and now
a pile of blackened sticks.

We are together
holding hands underwater
coming up as the starlings
leap into the morning sky
seeking higher nests.

This is the story we will tell
the story that will build us
a new house, a new way
to wander the green world
watering it with our tears

of naked gratitude.


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