for Jessica

You draw for me
a map: here the horse’s white
bones, here a constellation

of covered bridges. There the river
and reflecting pool, its surface
a series of windows waiting

to be opened. At the very
edge, beyond the cornfields
and the farmhouses,

the interstate highways, you place
the forest. Beneath
one tree you write

an X. You point me there, tell me
to dig. I do. I reach my hands into
the earth and the earth

melts into softness. Movies
have led me to expect some sort
of treasure, a chest of pirate gold, so

when I feel something, I grab on
tightly, lean back, tug. I can tell by its weight
there are no coins inside. I lift

what I have found
out, brush away the dirt, hold it
to the light. And it’s then I realize

I am gently unearthing wasps’ nests,
my cupped hands brimming
with spit and sting,

one grey mound shaped like
a home in my palms,
one tissue paper grenade

waiting to explode.

Author: Patrick Kindig