there was an open field next to my father's church in missouri, and i remember
how, after service, i would wade out with the other boys
-awash in weeds, padding silently in penny loafers - watching as their bodies shone
in the afternoon sun as we would hunt for grasshoppers.
i never was able to catch them, to hold them
between my hands - something in the way they ate grass terrified me.
that church was demolished a few years ago, the sanctity leaving with each pew
the movers loaded into the truck. the baptismal pulled out by a crane through a hole
in the roof, and finally the bulldozers and backhoes.
they built a race track there, asphalt sprawling across the nearby open fields
- and the roar of engines, the chambers igniting and pistons pumping sound much like
the grasshoppers' stridulations: the well-defined lip being moving across a
finely-ridged surface and vibrating as it does so.
like my corduroy slacks, one thigh against the other as i would run into the grass, peppered with blooms of clip-on neck ties.