Even the fairytales resort
to air machines as if we can’t keep

our boys and girls above water
for very long. “Some jaws got him.

I seen ‘em.” The blurry shoreline—
here is safe, here is not—

or let’s blame the treelight, it slithers
and makes us call our neighbors,

but there really isn’t anyone out there.
The real haunting is the light itself.

Everything else ends with decision:
skull crushed; heart stopped; bled.

Even aphids make patterns
that can be imitated, cut into lace,

and the circles get smaller in the search
as the townsfolk trawl into other landscapes.