Ode to a Cockroach

I can see you skittering through my soul.

I can see blood pulse through your kidney corpse.

Dripping live cells into some fertile hole

For upon human life your presence torques

Blood pressured fear. And the multitude

Abandon city and sleep on sheets clean.

You sit in your puddle of Raid and laugh

And will roll on your back in buoyant mood.

Though we may have killed you, our joy is lean

And your joy is our fear inspired staph.

 

Your sleek arms move like sheets in the wind

Casting into my sea of dirty dishes

For pearls whose value to me has dampened.

While I sit on the pot, mind full of wishes

Denied when you skirt cross kitchen tiles

(Your legs tickling my mind) to vanish

Into the cracks of my kitchen cupboard.

I hack in shame at the dirty dish piles

While wastes still within, I itch to banish

From Myself.  You . . .you crave the waste I hoard.

 

You glisten in definition my roach.

That soul-shuttering tail poorly covers

The seething, leg blackened filth you poach.

And look, there your lasso of filth hovers

In my dirty drawer and apple core floor.

But is your presence in this room my fault?

Oh no! Your loathsome aura would not stay

If neighborhood spike didn’t aptly gore

The shield, the siphon, oh that private vault

Of clean locales that keep you far away.

 

Some humans consider me inhuman

To live in the dead city in self-stench

And offer you life where their life began.

I work long days, a subservient wench

To retreat in anger and hate, within

Four walls of a home that I afford,

I know how it feels to be a memory—

To remind us of secrets that have been,

The wastes within, feared like dominions sword.

Ah to be blamed for human history!

 

Beneath this room you dance in furtive zone

Amid the roots of the eternal earth

Where wastes boil and meat decays from bone,

Where death creates life through divine rebirth.

And while the world above soaks like a sponge

In clean chemicals, our mad creation,

You thrive on the falsehood of trickle down

And train to survive in evolving grunge.

You are the world’s wildest elation:

The locus of life, the imposing frown.

 

I float beneath the fish line of treasure

The sweet pastry baited just out of reach

While I dangle before others measure

Whose septic social contract I breach.

I sense nature’s recourse beneath me

And mourn my lonely life hanging here.

I clutch my Raid, fear your presence whole

Yet long to grasp the life I see,

To hold that flame of human hate and fear:

Ah but are you immortal to my soul?

Author: Tim Dreby

I am an award-winning author and practicing psychotherapist

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