This entry is part 11 of 12 in the series Bestiary


Schistosoma mansoni

What moon presides over the chance
meeting of egg with water,
miracidium with snail, forked-tail
cercarium with human skin?
The young vampires voyage
first through the lungs & then
to the heart, where like Cupid’s arrows
they pierce its left side & travel down
into the liver for their fateful pairing.
The female inhabits the male,
slides tongue-in-groove style
into his gynaecophoric canal
& latches on. Could anything be
more romantic than this life-
long nestle? Together
they navigate the narrow
tunnels thunderous with blood,
questing for the rich intestinal wall
where they will fasten & thrash
& begin to plant. And if their hosts
should have granulomatous reactions,
female or male, regardless of menses
their bellies may begin to swell,
gravid with a stranger’s eggs
conceived under a vagrant moon.

Sacred Scarab

This entry is part 12 of 12 in the series Bestiary


Scarabaeus sacer

& round
& shiny as
a sex toy,
studded collar
biting into
the dirt,
the translucent
hum of
his wings
folded away,
the six-
legged god
plods backwards,
wheeling his
little world
of shit.

* * *

I first posted this one back in 2007, and am reposting it with a new title because it seems a natural addition to my Bestiary series (which I do plan to get back to once my current wildflower obsession wanes a little). I’ve spent all day going through the Via Negativa poetry archives, turning up a few forgotten gems but also becoming more than a bit nauseated at having to re-think so many of my own stale thoughts at one sitting.