Saturday, December 6, 2008

Spider Love by William Doreski


At a crosswalk a tiny car

and a spidery creature leaps out

and flails you with hundreds of fists.

Horrified, I grapple the monster,

breaking at least four of its legs.

At last I stifle it—a brown

leather bag, deflated, a scrap

of runaway DNA. I kick

the panting carcass and it spits

a feeble venom stream.

You laugh despite your bruises, and explain

this was your husband before

he abandoned his legal practice

and devoted himself to Kafka,

eventually persuading himself

he’d metamorphosed into

a spider. Now with legs broken

he can’t function. His pinprick eyes

wobble in fur-lined sockets.

His mandibles creak like metal.

The cops arrive. They want to shoot

to end the creature’s suffering;

but you claim the spider part

is an illusion, that something

human still functions. You insist

that with therapy he can shed

those extra legs and resume

his former lawyer face. The cops

shrug and radio the ambulance.

As they tow away the tiny car

I drive you to the hospital

where surgeons try to re-attach

the broken segments of leg

that look like hickory logs.

I’m surprised by your tolerance

of such literary abuse,

stunned by your postmodern calm—

your bruises already healing

and your love of that arachnid

persistent as moonlight in fog.

Big Black Spider (Les Petits Pilous Remix) - Anglo Satellite

William Doreski teaches at Keene State College in New Hampshire. His most recent collection of poetry is Another Ice Age (2007). He has published three critical studies, including Robert Lowell's Shifting Colors. His essays, poetry and reviews have appeared in many journals, including Massachusetts Review, Notre Dame Review, The Alembic, New England Quarterly, Harvard Review, Modern Philology, Antioch Review and Natural Bridge.

Photo by Adam Lawrence.
Street art by Keely.

For more on Anglo Satellite please visit their MySpace site.

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