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
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.