It’s as if everything is built to pull us forward
towards an age we won’t remember the seasons.

The geometry of late spring drones
in my ears: honeycomb octagons, grass lines all

pointed upwards. The water wheel I built
cycles, unmoving, while I shoot blindly into the field

with my cornstalk popgun to drive out
the maybugs. Their wings clip my cheeks,

cut my thumbs, but can’t escape. I sew them
four abreast to the propeller staked out front.

Now it always sounds windy, blades
turning in the night rain, not even stopping

when my mother’s whisper wakes me.
Come kiss Dane.

His blue fingers wrinkled beneath the nails
like rubber, she bent my head

to his cold lips ridged like small mountains,
silent but screaming Brother!

Late spring, and my own life responds
to his body’s braille with goose bumps,

groping the dark for new language,
the rain on the rooftop.

Years later I have learned how to shut off the night,
to line the roads with streetlamps that catch the stars,

the moon, in the light’s falling
chaff, hollowing us in,

leaving only our bodies
and the hum of maybugs


Perry Janes is a student at the University of Michigan, where he has received four Hopwood Awards, a Paul and Sonia Handelman Poetry Award, and a Jeffrey L. Weisberg Poetry Award. Poems from his series on Nikola Tesla have appeared in Salt Hill and The Collagist.