Arsenic Lobster poetry journal Issue Twenty-eight
Spring 2012
Rob Cook

O daddy long legs in the orchids and wisteria,
how you make my cock-cells swell!
O caterpillar cubs folded in the fern petals,
you are lovely as shoulders tied with ribbons
                                            and valentine nettles!

That’s what she slipped into my ear
when I told her my life was ruined by insects.

“They said they liked me,
but my cricket kept farting
when girls came near.”

She said she could see them
doing pirouettes in my eyeballs,
my bugs waving bouquets of hearts-on-a-stem.

She asked if she could borrow one
after it reached the temperature
of a blood blossom or a yellow jacket’s rose
that the itchy summer remembered well.

I thought she was being romantic.

She was,
but when they made human faces at her
and began yodeling “Maneater”

she pointed to all the moles
on my body that were fed

and mourned like something recalcitrant
and repeated only in song
and said,
           I’m turning off my nipples now
and swatted my body from the bed,
one birthmark,
two birthmarks, three
                                       birthmarks or more
from the exaggerated, deep white bed.

About Rob Cook

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