Root Cellar
Will Cordeiro

Root Cellar

Unlatch the clevis, twist a groaning door,
and grope blind-handed down a cellar-hole—
come, palp through stores of pulp, moon-cratered grist
amid bat guano and the firebrats;
unearth Ball jars that hold untold blue spoors,
which levitate atop soft clots of mold.
Submerse in damp. Now, kiss. Quick silverfish
seep through a kink. Up leaps a flash of fat,

pale moths when you’ve flicked on the dangling lamp,
their shadows angled through a room no brighter
than a catacomb. Late fall’s survivors
of slow, old flies twitch off. Our eyes uncramp
to dilate on one fine black hair—no, a spider,
which sucks back up its line of clear saliva.

Will Cordeiro

has contributed to Copper Nickel, Cortland Review, Crab Orchard Review, Drunken Boat, Phoebe, and other journals. He lives in Flagstaff, Arizona, where he is a faculty member in the Honors Program at Northern Arizona University.