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  • Gypsy Mothscaterpillar stage
  • V. Penelope Pelizzon (bio)

    A silk mistake, imported for your thread’s potential    (the shantung shining in the speculator’s eyes)      since you, unlike your cousin bombyx, graze,unfinicky, on leaves of every species. Now you nibble      forests to lace. A silicotic lung    sickens one morning in my oak tree’s vast estate.    Its speckles hatch, and soon, by inches, devastate,        chewing till I walk among    slicks of frass to mourn the branches’ skeletons.      The woods around me rustle with the patterof countless soft digestive tubes raining fecal matter      as you profit from derangement in the seasons:one fungus, finding you delicious, spun through you every spring        and snipped your threads within, but that        was back before the weeks of wet      its spores require to sprout began delaying    arrival while your eggs had not. You curse the deer,      the nesting birds, the squirrels, all who forage      acorns or shelter in the foliage.        You curse the person who can hear    a tree falling before it falls, who loved its leaves      —on days when the weather was changeable as a mind—        susurrating in wind,    silvering their silky freshly-woven sleeves. [End Page 60]

V. Penelope Pelizzon

V. Penelope Pelizzon’s second poetry collection, Whose Flesh Is Flame, Whose Bone Is Time, was published in 2014 by Waywiser Press. Her first book, Nostos (Ohio University Press, 2000), won the Hollis Summers Prize and the Poetry Society of America’s Norma Farber First Book Award.



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