Elijah Burrell

DIRT DWELLER


I catch a glimpse of grandeur
in a Folgers can full of dirt
and thrust my fingers into the damp
soil, then turn it over, till it up,
hunt nightcrawlers.
I used to call earthworms baby snakes.
It made them sound dangerous,
allowed me the guiltless thrill to lance
their clitella saddles with shining hooks.
I was never much for holding snakes,
but I loved the squirm and stick
of a lengthy worm.
I tip the can, just soŚ
skin glints from the dirt,
wiggles, submerges,
and I strike for it like a fish does dinner.




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