small talk (a digression)

she was talking
about something
i could tell by
the way her lips
were moving but i
was staring at
her eyelashes as
they twitched with
odd jerking motions
a corona of thick
clusters of jittery
cockroach legs
as if her eyes were
the carapace of
an overturned bug
wedged in empty sockets

i wondered if the
insects could see the
abject terror swimming
in cloudy hazel seas
would she infect me
tiny larva leaping
as she prattled on about
the holidays or
shopping or infestations

was that her
or was that me
did i say any of this
out loud
she is still rambling
would she notice if
i backpedaled out
the door and ran
for a can of spray

at last the phone
began ringing and her
antennae must have
registered the vibrations
in the air
i nodded and smiled
a ghastly smirk
hidden beneath my mask
knowing i managed
to escape a fate
far worse than death

small talk.

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