Patrick Venturella


the book is about
insects : on a porch swing
my feet dangle
in the air as I teach
my grandfather everything
about moths and earwigs

and when I get to garden spiders
his hand shoots through the air— clenches—
brings his fist to my
chest— peels back
his fingers— shows me the fire
fly in his palm : carefully

he turns the insect
over—all six legs
grasp the air—delicately
he tears its glowing
abdomen off—sticks it to my index
finger : I fall

asleep in his arms
that night—watching
my new ring grow
dim—both of us
bathed in neon light


age collects
in the corners

of your mouth
when you smile
wrinkles echo

out in parenthesis
that weren’t there
when we were seven

and Mrs. Owens
wanted to show

the class how
a heart really
worked so she

quartered a sheep
heart and passed

it around the class
like a meat apple


Patrick Venturella is a writer and poet living in Middletown, Ohio.  His work has been featured in The Sheepshead Review, The Penmen Review and The Coal Hill Review.  Besides poetry he enjoys collecting fossils and minerals.