My Apartment after Watching The Searchers (1956)

I ask the cricket smashed in my entryway
what paper towel I should use to smother him with.
“Do you want Bounty?
My roommate only buys paper towels she sees on TV.”
He says I’m the John Wayne of crickets, son.
Quilted pockets or not, I’ll only feel you for a bit.
Just don’t shoot me in the eyes. I won’t be able to get to heaven.

I crinkle four squares of the Always Save into a ball,
pick John Wayne up off the linoleum,
and throw him in the kitchen wastebasket.
I wash my hands with water and soap.
A scientist told me once if insects grow lungs
we are all fucked.
They’d breathe easier, grow bigger than buses.
Come for us with plastic riot ties in their mouth parts,
flip blades from their legs.
They’d display all our dead asses in natural history museums.
Or, if these superbugs were benevolent,
they’d keep us alive in zoos behind Plexiglas.
Beetles and their beetle families would throw Doritos,
Snyder’s pretzels, off-brand cheese curls into our pens,
and we could watch taped Super Bowls all day.
Maybe fill a beer pool during the hotter months.
I’ll honour the death of John Wayne in my entryway for now;
send him along to the next life tied in cheap white bags.
If he comes back, six-feet-five with the hat on, knife in hand,
maybe he’ll consider mercy on me. Pick me up and take me home.

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