Another Poem About Nature but Really, It’s About Me

Diannely Antigua  

I’m not used to all this nature — the robin and the blue

jay perch on the railing outside my window while I sip my coffee, 

the centipede scurries in the sink next to my dirty spoon. I leave

the birds alone but the centipede has to go. So I name it

Ben after one of my exes and drown it, send it

down the drain. All exes live there, down

the drain where they’ve crawled out of the pipe

sludge to the clean stainless steel of the undermount

sink. By the way, this is a borrowed kitchen. By the way,

this is a borrowed life. I don’t belong in a log cabin

in the woods where the squirrels are actually startled. I want

the don’t-give-a-fuck attitude of a New York squirrel,

eating from the palms of whoever has something to give —

the leftover crumbs from the morning’s bacon egg and cheese

or the last bit of falafel dipped in hummus from Mamoun’s. 

But wasn’t that a borrowed life too? I was supposed to be 

a preacher’s wife, skirt to my ankles, Bible 

in my purse. And I was supposed to be a mother. The doctors 

don’t know if this body can cradle the egg

before it’s flushed. And I’m not supposed to be jealous

of the birds, or the squirrel, or the drowned centipede, 

how easy it was to blame it, let the water run.


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