there are creatures in my ribcage some nights,
blue bats with wide mouths.
sometimes, my spine is
a long black centipede,
prodding venomed mandibles into my skull.
these nights, my vision is mostly dots and flashes of gold.
like streetlights, or waves from far below at dawn.

i've never had butterflies in my stomach. instead,
my hands catch on fire, twitch,
bones stutter in their sockets.
i crack my knuckles - breathe fast -
cut holes in my thumbs with the nails
of my middle fingers.
twist my ring, scratch my arms,
drown slow.

around February, i get restless.
big spiders move into the living room,
brown shadows in my left peripheral.
i can't kill spiders, though,
and i leave them libations of dead cockroaches-
pray to the Goddess -
the spiders never come in my bedroom.
i mark the days i hate myself on my thighs,
look for wasps in my closet, hang mothballs
above my door.

early March, and i'm strolling down to the beach.
i suffer the sand to chase fiddler crabs.
mangrove rot stinks the air,
red ants carry a moth away from the tide.
i find a stag beetle in the grass;
seashells pierce my heels as
i tell him my life story.
salt crusts my lungs, my throat,
and the beetle burrows between my fingers
when i mention starfish.

it's somewhere before sunrise,
and i've got that February itch:
hit a beehive, run!
tear through beach-grass thorns,
dive into brownblue waves.
watch the swarm blot out the sun
from coral eyes.