Kimiko Hahn
The Railroad Worm

Daughters, nocturnal by nature, rise

when the sun declines


to shower and powder for evening shifts.


Likewise, the Railroad Worm--

not a worm but a juvenile or adult female


Phrixthris (the

With-Bristling-Hairs beetle)—


switches on a fiery red to attack or mate. 


The female then lays a cluster of eggs underground,

curls around them for a year. The male,


while not luminous

does possess wings for convenient conveyance—


not something I'd want to spot

at the blues joint where my youngest bartends. 



Found In Volume 44, No. 02
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Kimiko Hahn
About the Author

Kimiko Hahn is the author of seven collections of poetry, including The Narrow Road to the Interior (W.W. Norton, 2006); The Artist’s Daughter (2002); Mosquito and Ant (1999); Volatile (1998); and The Unbearable Heart (1995), which received an American Book Award.