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Ju Derraik

I don’t know what they mean

to tell me- the bugs in my bathroom. 

I come home from other places where I am rarely alone

and find an insect, swimming in my toilet bowl. 

Here I must decide to kill him quickly or save him slowly

and I don’t know which hurts less. 

I lay crushed under my covers and contemplate

the flush as an escape route- miraculous,

but I know what guilt smells like.

Wings clatter against the tile, and I grab a green plastic cup

from the collection of waters I’ve left piling stagnant,

glean some gentle sense. I buzz over him.

I know he will not hurt me, but I understand less.

The rim lands right around him, the cardboard beneath him,

I curse myself for picking a vessel so opaque and take him

to my front stoop and free him,

but it feels like abandon. 


In the other places, I stand in

for something harmless. They leave me 

and they touch me and I don’t know which hurts less, 

but I think I understand. I’ve been drowning.


I apologize for the stench.

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