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Beetle Child
Miho Nonaka  (bio)

All summer, my poet friend was busy
tending a beetle her husband picked for her
instead of a cocktail dress.
They named it after their favorite
sumo wrestler.
She and I share the same body type,
dry skin and melancholy frame of mind,
and we both remain childless.
Beetles are not meant to survive
autumn, even those fat, shiny ones
from fancy department stores in Tokyo.
They die like hollow chestnuts
whether or not they receive food,
water, and quality affection verging on
desperation—she even fed her beetle
with the sherbert flesh of an out-of-season
melon that comes in a wooden box,
a premium gift for the sick.
Now, fallen leaves surround their house.
As she rakes in silence,
I fold a tiger out of golden origami,
complaining about my drafty bed
and frostbitten toes. Just like this,
words are dry enough to burn, and fire is for
sharing. We are at the end of the season,
trying to close the door
that isn’t there.

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