They come together in the night,
Amid the leaves, within the bush,
Silent inside the stilly hush,
Beneath the full moon shining bright.
Healthy and large and leafy green,
She beckons him of smaller size,—
A woody, twig-like male, who flies
To meet his mate, his mantis queen.
They come together and seem as one,
As though one twig with emerald leaves
Were moving much with little breeze
Where shade rebuffs the noonday sun.
They turn their heads to share a kiss,
Antennae twining round like vines.
The male ignores the warning signs,
Oblivious to what's amiss.
The kiss becomes a vicious bite.
She chews off quickly half his face.
He holds, despite this, his embrace,—
Holding it fast and gripping tight.
Headless in bites, he needs no head,
Continuing the ***** deed.
His queen discovers her no need
Either of this, nor cares he's dead.
Finished with him, herself she frees.
He twitches yet, although a corse.
As though a leaf swept by a force
Of wind, she leaves upon a breeze.