Basic Maneuvers



Night falls.
The air is sticky
infused with white Gardenia, pungent Stephanotis.
A fountain sprays into a Koi pond, echoing across the valley.
In the distance houses hum, windows glow
as families settle into their nightly routine.

At the appointed hour
a poisonous toad Army advances
each to their predetermined post.
Thousands hop down roads, linger beneath street lamps
some are sacrificed
beneath a passing automobile tire.

Others silently lurk inside the hollow of a palm
hundreds more beneath the bug light by the well
their hungry eyes focused, tongues trigger ready.
Toad commanders direct their approval at the snap and the sizzle
of the Formosan termite swarm drawn to the light,
the Army peering skyward as roasted bodies free-fall, unfettered wings
drift aimlessly down around them.

The kamikaze swarm
continue to buzz the light in reckless abandon.
A few forestall their dinner dates
by crawling behind downspouts and into rocky crevices
while a scout is randomly brushed
by the feet of a foreign genus
rushing inside to escape the carnage,
the rank and lusty feeding
of the hoard.

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