Lodestar Quarterly

Lodestar Quarterly
Figure reaching for a star Issue 8 • Winter 2003 • Poetry


Ron Mohring

Sticky with cobwebs and pet hair, half-
mummified, dogged claw-arms rowing against
the window's unyielding surface, the green anole
my cat pins behind the mini blinds
depends on my intervention. I love to watch
these lizards puff their throats,
stretch gum-pink bubbles big as my thumb.
Last week my lover caught
two anoles mating, held them to his chest:
each narrow gaping mouth
clamped fast on a nipple. I shuddered
as he grinned at his awful jewelry. They hung
resolute, whiptails switching, till he pried them free.

So many creatures wander through our house,
hand their lives into our inept care. I would save
them all: the wasps, delicate envoys of danger
that fizz pure anger when trapped
between juice glass and book,
the cagey eye-stalked Daring Jumping Spider
whose name I love, who darts and dodges
when I shoo her from my desk,
the slow armored walking stick
appearing in the kitchen, the green tree frog
and clowny dotted gecko. Once a hummingbird
zipped through the open door, circuiting
the study, buzzing past my ducking head
like holy voltage before flashing out. The cat
backs off on reprimand. I pinch her prize
and slip outside, low-toss the anole toward a clump
of lemon grass: camouflage, sanctuary, home.

Ron Mohring has had work published in Alaska Quarterly Review, Artful Dodge, Maize, Pool, and Southeast Review. His poetry chapbooks are Amateur Grief, The David Museum, and Beneficence; his full-length collection, Survivable World, won the 2003 Washington Prize and is expected to appear in 2004 from The Word Works Press. The recipient of the 2003 Oscar Wilde Award from Gival Press, he teaches literature and creative writing at Bucknell University, where he is Senior Associate Editor of West Branch. He can be reached at rmohring@ptd.net.

Go To: Issue 8 or Lodestar Quarterly home page