My husband told me he was squashing Squash Bugs.
He does this with his thumb, a task I've never mastered,
for all my lack of squeamishness, preferring to pluck them off
like small striped berries, into a jar of soapy water, to their doom.
He said they smelled good squashed, like cinnamon,
or some sweet spice; he was amazed.
His nose is family legend, easily offended
by perfumes and soaps, by "ordinary" scents around the house.
Who knew death could smell so sweet.
We've been so long together
there is a symbiosis, almost a parasitic love
between us, incurable and fixed.
Like some dependent junkie, I need
my daily fix of you, can't sleep or rise
without your breath within my airspace,
without your coffee in my veins.
Our entwinement isn't always smooth
nor beautiful; more coarse twine, at times,
than silken threads. Entrapment.
It is no longer optional, but inherent.
You lie like a dormant virus along my spine,
emerging, unbidden, to heat my blood.
Back to Poetry