the spider’s parable

what does living mean?

we are born, squalling into mothers’ arms

we are raised, fed, given by others until we are old enough to teach the young

you are pushed out in a cocoon,

stuck in a spider’s web that you cannot see and cannot escape,

the souls all entwine among the grasshopper corpses

the food turns to ash, even the shit from our bowels becomes cash stacks like mountains—

the masses of white beetles consume them, they scratch

and bite into the rooms, boring holes into the gold-houses, eating up their stores

winter seeps into the minds, creeping under the limbs and makes us dance with

butterfly wing-ed fingers to lift legs, move the mouths, keep the eyes from closing to the waltz of the billions of feet

the bowls of fresh water become scarce, the legs starched with venom

squatting just outside, the watching the black door close in his face, the tempest in the mind,

winds made of guilt and self loathing grind the patchwork sails and the yacht tables into ashes

until only the smoldering flakes are left to cram down parched throats

until the breeze turns to tongues and softly, life

and death, its spidery shepherd

whisper that none of us are alone.


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