ì just killed a cóckroach
in a minute and a half.
(i could’ve but i did not stop);
and, suddenly, it was too late:
the roach lay writhing on the ground,
its legs were smashed – beyond escape.
i turned my head and saw myself
inside the mirror on the door
(headphones arched over a crumpled face);
i looked at me and returned to the floor.
old memories all flew in different ways
like a flock of birds unperched:
the stepped-on ant again stepped on,
the mice i saw beat by the broom,
the spider and the spider-web – both gone.
…i wish now i had chosen to
brush off the cockroach like it brushed my foot.
…and was i right? or was i wrong?
(a cockroach-court would sentence me i’m sure);
but i would ask for leniency
and time and charity
to regret my choice – and then create
(begun on Jan 30, 2019 and finished on Feb 3, 2019)
For more about the poem, see notes.