Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2019  Vol. 18 No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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I was playing with Peapod, when I suddenly grabbed my head and fell
to the floor. The cat came over and sniffed me, but soon got bored and walked
away. I squirmed and tossed and finally lay still. I reached up to my
head and felt something clinging to my skull. I pulled and pulled, but
it wouldn’t come off. Finally, I was able to pinch it off. It was a beetle
of some sort, huge and ugly. I got up and threw it in the trash, but only
after I was certain it was dead. I felt dizzy and couldn’t walk straight
for a minute. I sat down at the kitchen table and soon felt better. I
reached for my insect book and looked it up. It was a Yellow Bellied Sawbuck
from Brazil. It said it can kill you if attached to the skin for 24 hours.
I had no idea how long this one had been attached. I certainly hoped it had
been less than 24 hours, but how would I know. I had been to a concert of
Brazilian music a few days ago, and I supposed I had picked it up there. I
poured myself a glass of milk. Peapod came over and I scratched his head.
He rubbed himself against my leg. I tried to stand, but felt wobbly. Then
I took a couple of steps and felt better. I made it to the bathroom and
relieved myself. On the way back I felt faint and propped myself against
the wall. I sat down on the floor and held my head. My head was spinning.
I thought I was going to faint. I sat like that for twenty minutes or more.
Then I tried standing and I was okay. Peapod wanted to play and I tossed the ball
for him. I sat down at the kitchen table again. I reached for the phone and
fell over dead, or at least I thought I was dead. I must have lay like that for
an hour or so. Then Peapod came over and jumped on the table and bit me
on the nose. I wriggled around and opened my eyes. So this is heaven, I
thought. It’s just my home, though I think I like it better.  

   Nine Posthumous Poems

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