In Great Leaps
By Will Kaufman.
We go hunting crickets, small beneath the stars. We are small beneath the stars. You forget the crickets, we lie hidden in the grass. You say, Dad can’t know. You tell me I am small. How can you forget the crickets with their song so big, so all around us, all above us? That shape between your back and the night, that must be a cricket, antennae grazing Cassiopeia and the Pleiades, feeling. And the giant makes us small, even you, singing like an earthquake, rubbing wings big as campgrounds, rumbling heavy, low. A call that pounds my chest.
We never bring back crickets. Dad says we’d make bad frogs and rolls pellets of bread between his fingers to bait our hooks. The boat is small. Dad says, jump in, bad frogs. Even bad frogs can jump. Our knees touch as we sit with our poles.
We hunt crickets too big to catch. We reach for them and they leap mountains and lakes, crush houses beneath barbed feet, rafters crashing through the beds, the bath shattered, water pouring from torn pipes, rubble shaking to their giant song, touching other stars while we close our hands on air.
There are crickets, and there is nowhere to go. I am too small.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Will Kaufman has an MA in Creative Writing from UC Davis, and an MFA from the University of Utah. His work has appeared most recently in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, SmokeLong, and Housefire, with more coming soon from Metazen, Litro, and Bourbon Penn. He also contributed the text for UFOs and Their Spiritual Mission, from Social Malpractice Press. You can find a full list of his publications, with links, at willarium.wordpress.com.
First published in 3:AM Magazine: Thursday, November 22nd, 2012.