Lightning Bugs

Selected Poems by Mira Mason-Reader


P hoto by  Logan Adermatt  on  Unsplash

lightning bugs


the earth blooms like a

mouth opening pushing

spit through her teeth


the soil is black with rain

from monsoons and littered

with frogs and crawdads


i find them in pools in the

potholes in our road   grab

them with little copper hands


put them in jars and bowls

and watch   waiting for them

to glow


like the lightning bugs

they never were





a skeletal figure of mom

with carmine and indigo and gold

papered flowers pinned to the sides

of her bald white skull


a little calaca

a skeleton made of her

when she worked at the

half moon café


we kept it in the kitchen

named her joy

and let her watch over the soy

milk and granola     



red earth


all at once and accidentally

spring had come and every

flower that was to bloom



a cacophony of wet tepid

earth mixed with viscous,


a blooming copper mine,


a brook of indigo,

maybe, or golden lustre

or verdant or

any color that isn’t red.


a leak so full

that my underwear

found itself mottled


with stains from the sage

and desert flowers that

opened in my body


and never washed out.


Mira Mason-Reader


Mira Mason-Reader

Mira Mason-Reader is a poet, dancer, and general maker of things. She received her BA in English, Creative Writing and Dance from Mills College in Oakland, CA, and her MA in English, Creative Writing from University College Cork in Cork, Ireland. She is currently dancing her way through Eugene, OR and working on completing a book length collection of poetry inspired by her hometown, Bisbee, AZ.