Sherod Santos

1948 / Greenville, South Carolina

A Feeling of AND, a Feeling of OR

The window in mid-summer raised, and where
the screen intersects with the frame, a web of circular
tensile silks radiating outward from the central lair
where a yellow spiny-backed spider waits, its six
thorn spurs protruding rose-like from its abdomen,
its casing imprinted with a wax seal ring. Attached
to the foundation lines, clusters of white cottony tufts,
lures, I suppose, for insects, and suspended
from a single thread, a much smaller egg-shaped
spider (the male?) swaying imperceptibly in the air:
an image from childhood that reminds me of "childhood,'
a word that so often crosses my mind that it long ago
ceased to mean anything other than a period of time
when things occurred not to me so much as him,
and all of them linked only by AND. As in the span
of a single moment, the afternoon after the all-clear
when the sun rose on a bloated, fly-stung pygmy goat
in a gravel slough he crossed to wave to a woman
with a Red Cross band on her arm. AND: the red
pinball bumper cap ("5000 when lit") in a tented
arcade on Brighton Pier when he was twelve.
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