“…I leash a mantis to my big toe
like a toe tag on a cadaver in a morgue…”
My Mantis and Me
Before sleep, I leash a mantis to my big toe,
like a toe tag on a cadaver in a morgue.
He’s the only insect who can,
with wet round eyes and forearms
employed as guillotines in constant
prayer, twist his heart-shaped head
to see those nasty little bed bugs
that dig in me as if happily scooping
ice cream for little boys. But I have
to help him too. I’ve already squashed
one widow crawling into bed with him.
For now we watch each other’s backs,
like two grown men in a public shower.
Originally published in Diverse Voices Quarterly.