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Larry D. Thomas

Fireflies

On onionskin-like wings

delicate as the substance


of nothing, on summer nights

so thick they’re palpable,


they flare up the green and orange

flames of their abdomens.


In the cruelty of childhood,

I’d snatch them, crush their heads


twixt my thumb and forefinger,

and marvel at how, for a while,


at irregular intervals

even after their deaths,


they’d flare up their flames

against the night.