My home is filled with spiders
optical illusions masquerading as insects
small, dark things that seem bigger than they are.

The Vitruvian Man showed us
our wingspan unfolds our height
a secret origami of inches and
door frame scratches

but Da Vinci didn’t consider the spider
whose stretching arms are simply a trigger
panic in the chest, a leap to loveseat cushions,
the longer the legs, the bigger the scream,
whose body is almost a separate idea, an afterthought
to a cinema of limbs.

Last night I cooked for a friend,
told her of the arachnids sleuthing
beneath the bed frame, behind the fridge
in the quiet corners of the closet

she asked if I knew my value,
if the cosmos might not be filling my hearth
with mirrors
the under-appreciated
the overworked beast, mute chivalry
combatting roaches, pill bugs, silverfish

dodging rolled newspaper ‘thank you’s

she said I must be wary of ties, now
if my own web can carry this weight,
if the threads aren’t wearing thin
if I can even hear the people I’ve attached to
flicking the string, checking in.

This morning, one clung to the shower wall
I pushed the curtain back, swallowed the scream.
The water steamed the mirrors
till there was nothing but warm clouds, lost traction
and a sea of eyes between us.

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