Derobrachus geminatus

Palo verde beetles

Jefferson Carter



She wants to save the palo verdes

in her yard, she wants to get pregnant,

she’s waving her hands, wanting us

to kill the two palo verde beetles, long

as ring fingers, mating on her porch.

Her new husband jokes about moving the lovers

to a neighbor’s yard, talks about a shovel,

insecticide, but nobody moves, only

the male in his black armor, the female

underneath, shaking open her gray skirts.






Jefferson Carter has poems in such journals as Carolina Quarterly, Barrow Street and New Poets of the American West. Chax Press (Tucson) recently published his eighth chapbook, My Kind of Animal. He’s lived in Tucson since 1954 and is currently a volunteer with Sky Island Alliance, a locally-based environmental organization.