Meaning there are spiders
in the soft slinkies
runnelling our bodies.

Breathing makes us susceptible.
They enter the warm pause
of hair-covered atriums,

drink blood from blood-running faucets.
Eyeless, turkey-bodied babies,
arms branching to no hand.

They leave skins behind,
wet leather robes
unpeeled onto the floor.

Our wings unhook,
Christmas trees whose ornaments
have all fallen off.

We don’t look sick,
bathed in olive oil,
drawing long on menthols,

crawling, hands and knees,
outside the gates
of our own mansions.

Poet’s Note: Acarapis woodi, or “tracheal mites,” is a disease whose main symptom is K-winged bees congregating at the hive entrance. Treatments include feeding bees vegetable oil with sugar and placing menthol pellets in the hive.

Matt McBride

Matt McBride's work has previously appeared in or is forthcoming from Court Green, Cream City Review, Diagram, FENCE, Mississippi Review, Ninth Letter, [PANK], Packingtown Review, Tupelo Quarterly, and Typo, among others. His first book, City of Incandescent Light, was published by Black Lawrence Press in 2018. Currently, he is an instructor of English at Wilson College, where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in creative writing.