End of Summer Surprise

I opened that poetry book I recall I had been reading one distant summer day, one now foreign year, by the lake. And a tiny mummy of a ladybug fell out like punctuation, a casualty of outdoor reading, carapace in a carapace.

Dear Little Polka Dots, I’m sorry. I never saw you fly in. I never knew I buried you alive in stanzas. Your little skeleton’s the bookmark of your fate.

Cute as a button,
dead as late.

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[3 a.m. crickets, wall of sound: the ghosts of monks chanting in the yard]

                                        Their mind mass slows to the cool
September air, the tempo a function of temperature,
their self-explanatory dying, told without pity. Count the beats
to know how much impersonal darkness they have left.
I can’t hear it impersonally. I want to personify the sound.
I believe there is someone making that sound,
even if my someone is only dark splinters on the ground.
I feel it’s talking to me, and somehow performing my mind.
If I can’t take it any longer, I will throw open the front door
of my house and yell at them. They will grow quiet for a moment
as if listening to me. And then they (no they there) will continue
their chant. The sound will close back over me
like starlight, and I will drown in that.