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J. J. Steinfeld

Insect Smile

 

You see an insect that is too large

startling and intriguing—

where is a revealing textbook

or an expert on things exceeding comprehension

or a knowing voice on the radio

or an erudite image on a screen

explaining the largeness?

The insect pauses

starts to speak

to boast about its largeness

its ability to count rapidly

forward or backward

then it smiles—

but you know insect smiles

are impossible

as impossible as

you living forever

or becoming beautiful

in a finger-snap

yet seeing is believing

you hear another insect proclaim

smaller, unsmiling

but defying classification

all the same.

 

 

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