by Emily Benton

In the empty space between air and soil,
our fear lingers—green, young—balancing where
no one glances, invisible until
we feel it fallen, crawling in our hair.
Even the lawn boys beat to a drummer’s
solo, or so it seems, in this unplugged
invasion as they coast by on mowers
beneath the tall, shaded trees where this bug
dangles, dropped from lonely awakening.
Who disparaged who to receive this plague?
We arrive home with shoulders glistening
in the silken dew, which we failed to gauge
on our ill-footed waltz. “More than an inch,”
I think, and oust this nomad with a pinch.

Emily A. Benton grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee, but now lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. She graduated from Queens University of Charlotte in 2004. Her poems have appeared in Main Street Rag, Iodine Poetry Journal, and THRIFT. She blogs about music and other topics for The Charlotte Observer at