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Beetles spill across the linoleum, plentiful as the pills

I pour over the table every Sunday morning

to count and distribute to their SMTWTFS compartments.

I vacuum the bugs, the end of the hose like an open mouth

sucking and swallowing. There are always more

traversing the lintel or landing next to my coaster

as coffee washes down each of the meds keeping me alive.

One of the beetles marches back and forth on the brink

of the kitchen sink while I rinse black grounds from the French press.

Mindlessly, I flick the creature into the eddies swirling

toward the drain. The legs flail against the current, every joint

and appendage grappling for life. I slam the faucet

off. Reach after the beetle. But the drain gulps it like a pill.

I watch the empty place where only moments before

the boxelder still lived. Another one lights on my fingernail; my body

jolts at this unexpected life. I closet the vacuum.

I open my pillbox. I am starting to live with them.

I am starting to live. I am starting. I am.

Poem: BENJAMIN KLAS lives in Minnesota with his partner and their son. He spends his days block printing, playing the ukulele, parenting, and writing, although not necessarily in that order. His works have appeared in a handful of literary magazines and an anthology of queer writers.


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