Formication of Thoughts

my scalp twitches below the skin
wiggling hairlines receding with the tide
the roll of a humpbacked beetle whose hardshell bursts my pores like angry blackheads
but who doesn’t mean to and apologizes profusely
“I’m cumbersome and something else,” he says
and the powdery moth with its dusted scales
flaking at the corner of my mouth
gloats of her delicacy

Then there is the termite that gnaws at my nose
whose sole concern seems to be my integrity
and his sisters, the carpenter ants who
like to build disastrous roller coasters
made from my synapses

and when the cars inevitably
fall
off
the
track jolt bed
andcollidekaleidoscopefireworks me out of
I am convinced that they do not know how to run a Six Flags.
And are better suited to lacquered swimsuit covers
of Entomology Today

what of the cricket and the cricketeer
throttling my eyeballs into black wicket lashes
who think life is a game
gamble gobbed omelette thoughts
scrambled, half-digested

I am bursting with bugs
crawling from my ears, inviting one another for supper
the ladybird and arachnid
dining on mismatched lyrics twirled on a fork
and the early worm who misses the bird
to attend a dreadful showing of Foucault writ small
complaining to the front row: academics don’t get it
petty bourgeoisie them all

They like to chatter stupid ideas that keep me up at night
“She likes him but she’s got the head of a coconut.”
“Agreed, thick but runny.”
“Try erasing the Bourdieu and replacing with Butler.”
“That don’t make sense, though.”
“You’ll never know until you try.”
“Until your committee reads it and thinks you’re stupid.”
“Best left to the bibliography, then.”
“Become one with the dirt and die already.”
“Super, but your supervisor is still waiting for your chapter.”
and nails like scalpels, autoclaved in my mouth
vomit fingers
slice my skin and
extract the maggots
one
by
one
to get a moment of sleep

peace
at last

But it is not so easy
The screams scatter into a million corners
and run up and down my veins
crawling and scratching and grasping and pulling
I squash the carapace between my fingers
to hear the pop of organs squeezing through crispy keratine
my head has gone silent
and skeletons litter my bed
I think no thoughts
but one
a chrysalis blooms by the moon


the young butterfly strokes my temple
with a crescent proboscis
“My darling,” I say.

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