Instinct needs nothing but time. The roach
doesn’t wonder why it waits until dark.
I’m leaving academia so I can learn how
to squeeze into crawlspaces, how to drive
a stick shift with my knees, how to become
fluent in the American Dream. I’m told
the word exterminator has been replaced
by pest control technician, but neither comes
with rhythm or answers. I never had any
for my students and I’ll offer nothing more
to customers. There must be beauty in these
stilled potholes, in these public housing projects.
In these roaches. It’s a matter of learning how
to hurt a fly, how to ignore a mind wandering
beneath subfloors. An insect only wants time
to breed before it dies. Birth and death:
it’s all the same. It’s how you return,
bringing back more than just metaphors.