There were five dead bugs
in the light fixture above me
thoughts about them pierced my tongue
the bell in my mouth swallowed whole.
Light too bright for them to see where
they were going
hot so there must be food in there
or maybe one of the other bugs
wanted to explore and followed suit
they might have died at different times
Going in, each bug knowing it wasn’t right
didn’t know what else to do
once it slid in, no way out
resigned to its fate
looked away or embraced the light above
curling up its legs to make itself as small
as possible, a thought of escape
too terrifying to even consider.
Did they think of lush green gardens or
that they called home?
Dust or dusk is all the same when you’re dying
you will never see the difference
nothing will ever be pure again
now there were only be confusion
you are tainted and desiccated
you trusted the monster
who pulled you in
I am a landlocked child
taken and dissected on a carpet
pinned, surrounded and alone
at one hundred years old
wanting to be re-greened
given something, saved, instead
emptied so much
looking up at five bugs in a light fixture
wishing I could fly up and curl up.
Jacqueline Valencia is a Toronto-based writer/editor/critic and earned her Honours BA in English at the University of Toronto. She is the author of various essays and poetry books, including There Is No Escape Out of Time (Insomniac Press, 2016). She is a project partner at Poetry inPrint and a member of The Writers' Union of Canada. Currently working on her next poetry collection tentatively titled, Space.