"WHY TAKE MY HEAD FROM UNDER THE PILLOW?"
—Stephen Dobyns, "Bead Curtain"
There’s a bug on my window:
lean centimeter, spaceship-shaped,
burnt orange, studded with turquoise beads.
Antennae stripe from its neck,
each like high-test line off a fisherman’s pole.
Perhaps a carnie from the flea circus—
stilt-walker, flair-panted clown—
a holiday bauble evolved to walk.
I watch two minutes, ten. It doesn’t fly off;
it crawls, as I do this morning,
my kidney struck by a railroad spike,
sinuses weeping, heartrate upbeat
like an angry drummer cursing the slow parade.
Life can be painful, & waking the worst,
except today, this scrap of being tells me
I still have much to see. I’ll not
be around to welcome each new thing
when the next’s already queued,
awaiting its turn to dazzle me with colors,
disco lights, & sounds of dancing
I won’t hear echoing elsewhere on the tiles.