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James Autio lives in Minneapolis with his wife, son, and two cats (both of which are named Hump). In addition to writing poetry, fiction and short plays, James enjoys painting murals, playing guitar, and riding his bicycle. James' writing has earned numerous awards, including the Eliza A. Drew Prize, the Evelyn Apitz Morris Prize, the George Henry Bridgman Poetry Prize, and a one-month full fellowship at the Vermont Studio Center. His poems have appeared in several online and print journals, such as Prairie Poetry, The Fulcrum and The Rapids Review.

Only an Aphid

Even amid other May bloomers,
the Nova Zemblas explode.

When I was tearing up panties
and burying them in the garden,
I paused to peer deep
into swollen folds of fuchsia.

So much, such rich
warm color pulling me inside.
I could lose myself.

The sun shone harsh. The scent
of Zemblas swirled around me,
filled my mind with liquid nectar.
I thumbed through quivering folds.

Alone, feeling lost, hiding
inside the insistent bloom
crawled an aphid, exposed by sun.

Sweat from my shoveler’s brow
fell to the insect’s petal,
hurling it down to waxy leaf.

The aphid managed one step
as hot thickness gummed up
around its tiny thighs.

Copyright © 2007 James Autio