by David Oestreich

–upon learning that male mice court females
   with an ultrasonic serenade.

His fertile countertenor sounds
through crawlspace, cupboard,
window-well—hymn of desire
fundamental as sine wave.

Come to me, to this joint of joist
and footer where I’ve made a bed
of aspen bark and milkweed down.
We should not be ashamed. Come.

The floorboards creak with heavy feet;
they make no hint of hesitation.
The spiders lay cross-armed
in their hammocks. The cat is out.

But in the corner of a now-still drawer,
ears turn to cup his fragile melody,
and blood speeds to pulse an obligato.

David Oestreich is a human resources manager living in northwest Ohio with his wife and three children. His work has previously appeared in Ruminate, Umbrella, Minnetonka Review, and Eclectica.

Back to Issue Ten: Winter 2011