Ladybug by Danielle; for more information, visit

Ladybug by Danielle; for more information, visit


By Robert Vivian

Little tank, little earth shell, little pocket square diviner and humble cliffhanger in the pellucid valley of the sun, how you climb for all of us this cold bright day in January on a floor length window surrendered almost entirely to sky, your tiny footsteps unheard of in the year of the dragon or the rabbit or vast marsupial longing and will you orange for us, will you volkswagon, your little dome and carapace containing all your insect hopes and dreams but so easy to crush between one’s teeth or fingertips and how strange and intimate your own life must be within the circumference of a child’s fingernail and how your shield is painted on with little dots and whorls of brightness and no oaths or shibboleths uttered by any of your kind as you move toward your mysterious errand for a new taste or color and how your life is like my life, any life as we notice and see each other wanting so much to shine or sing or pass along the blueprints of our race and do you look at the moon at night and do you pause and consider, oh, the tiny and telltale signs of your destiny—a twig, a fly, maybe a pebble that looks like you or a stone that could almost become your own hard kingdom if only you had hands to shape it and I will not touch you today or flick you down for suddenly a soft petal of tenderness for you is born in me that may even augur the birth of another flower out of these words, rising off the skin of a page and moving toward you before pulling back at last, little button and fine moving humpty dumpty that will not be cracked or broken this day, leaving you to the thing you alone were made for, the lonely, inscrutable path you were meant to travel from one window or woodpile to the next with such intricate and fragile dignity whose secret essence might even (I want the whole world to believe it) save us from our own prodigal and windblown selves.


About Robert Vivian

Robert Vivian is currently working on a collection of dervish essays.