The sun, the chaise, the gauzy clouds aloft,
Vacation reading: “Noah and the Flood”;
(Goddamn mosquito!) oo‘re two drops of blood,
L is t smeared, d — a tick pulled off.
Where were we then?
…A sweetness hushed
Steals o’er the tome: “Noah and Theft”;
But no, at “a” a wasp was crushed —
The stinger T flung off in anger
By someone’s finger: “No Hand Heft,”
Stung, as it were, by words in languor,
While some caked variant is left.
But now the book, it seems, is: “Handicraft,”
For N was a grasshopper slammed in half;
The o was its eye — a blot of ichor;
The H and e were “icra” masked
By thrips in a dribble of liquor, an eyesore.
Now (Ha!) some worm has inched aside,
And “aft” a waterbug’s retracted;
Sowbug c curled up and died;
Shaped like an a, a flea has dried,
And harried, irritated, and distracted
By swarms of the semiotical invader,
The summer reader’s left with: “Nadir.”