I have boys, two under ten,
fierce in their love and loathing.
Awake at sun-up, out they roar:
the elder’s foot in his brother’s path,
the younger (no flies on him)
butting with hip, elbow, hammer fist
until they clutch each other firm
around waist, knee, neck, whatever’s free.
This violent jerking across my
terra cotta tiles–Is this the dance
of mate-needy crabs?
Deep below restless currents,
blows slowed, the ocean floor
a soft place to land their writhing,
would their last breath leave them
pinching the sandy bottom
for a bit of errant pipe,
the sharpest rock?
Alice Batt lives in Austin, TX, with her husband and two teenage sons. As assistant director of the University Writing Center at UT Austin, she has the pleasure of working with writers every day. She was on the founding editorial board of Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, and her poems have appeared in Esprit, Endless Mountains Review, Healing Woman, and a variety of newsletters and chapbooks.