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various presences
Coming back to the house through the dark
I see a fl ashlight come on
at the dark window of Tim's room --
as I enter he trains it on me
and greets me.
He has climbed out of his bed
to look at some tomato worms again
which he put in a can today with fresh tomato leaves
fragrant with the scent
of tomatoes themselves --
he explains: he could hear the worms
chewing the leaves in the dark,
he imitates the sound for me,
a slight sucking sound.
The broad scars or scabs
on tomatoes are made, I suppose,
by these worms. We sit a moment
watching them in the fl ashlight beam.
Big fellows, a clear, light green,
built high and rectangular
like boxcars, and with a thorn
like a rose thorn set in their hind ends;
on their fl anks are stripes,
diagonal, crooked, black with white edging;
between each stripe is an imitation eye --
we look at it, it looks back at us,
a clear black pupil
rimmed with a delicate white tissue
that makes the eye appear to glisten
with moisture. The expression, we decide,