“Earwigs, of the order Dermaptera. Dermaptera is Greek in origin, stemming from … dermatos, meaning skin, and pteron, wing. It was coined by Charles De Geer in 1773. The common term, earwig, is derived from the Old English eare, which means ear, and wicga, which means insect.”
Despite the throbbing in your temples and
the growing migraine heat behind each pupil,
your job is to find the second alley to the right
in the direction of the old Hangar Building.
You will pass the butchers and meat-sellers,
their garlands of sausages hanging from hooks
surrounded by adoring flies. You will pass
the widows with their baskets of bitter
melon, banana hearts sheathed in purple
husks, yellow squash flowers wilting
in the heat. The one with the glass eye
tells fortunes. If you find yourself among
the sellers of grain, you will have walked
too far. Turn back and look for a narrow
passageway between the noodle shop and
the shoe repairer. Watch for the weathered
green door and follow the steps to the third
floor landing. Don’t mind the old men smelling
of tobacco smoke or incense hunched on the bench,
eyes closed, motionless as tokers. The acupuncturist
waits under a naked bulb in the room. He bows and holds
a pair of silver calipers aloft like a wizened insect.
He swabs the inside of each ear with a cotton ball
dipped in sterile fluid, and picks the tiniest
tacks from the tray of needles. He twirls them
into the rubbery folds of skin where they’ll lodge
for a week under the topmost crease of your ear
and probe the meridians of your hidden pains.
In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.