"What, Then, Is a List of Things Found" by Shana Ross

Two beetles that look like ladybugs, stretched

Red and spotted, but gaunt and elegant like

Very wealthy ladies from a big city

Their extra long antennae flexing, unable to be still

Though they move nothing else.

Buds covered in hair which seems like fuzz if I am not looking at the bugs

Through a magnifying glass so my perspective shifts

Hard for me to say if they will open into flowers,

Or leaves, or perhaps they have already failed to develop,

This shape their full destiny before an eventual fall.

This is where the wasp lands.

Aphids. Maybe. Something small and herding.

The crowd and silence feels domesticated

And therefore dulled in comparison.

A jumping thing that looks like the aphids,

It comes and goes, skittish

So perhaps it does not count.

A proper ladybug, round, spots semi-symmetrical

As in almost, but not quite

If you look close, similar to someone both

Near-sighted and profoundly nearsighted

Each eye troubling the face distinctly

It follows the red veins of the leaf

Unhurriedly, but unwilling to trespass

On the field of green.

The first set of beetles, now fucking,

If that’s what insects do,

Atop the buds that have not opened.

The milkweed, too, unfurls into summer

That will explode on the winds by fall

In the closeup recountenance, context obscured

Island of the miraculous and unloved,

The corner lot next to the Rite Aid.

Shana Ross is a poet and playwright with a BA and MBA from Yale University.  She bought her first computer working the graveyard shift in a wind chime factory.  Her writing career went dormant for years, for reasons both practical and best discussed in therapy, but she makes a respectable living as a consultant, executive coach, and global leadership expert.  In 2018 she dyed her hair purple and is starting to turn all that around.  This decade her work has been published in or is forthcoming from Anapest Journal, Anatolios Magazine, Apricity Press, Chautauqua Journal, Ghost City Review, The Hellebore, Indolent Press’ What Rough Beast project, Mad Scientist Journal, metafore, SHANTIH Journal, Street Light Press, The Sunlight Press, Voice of Eve, and Writers Resist