I watched an insect dive
upside down in a crystal bowl.
Magnified, it resembled
a friend’s identity crisis —
red eyes, amorphous body
arched like a scorpion.
Probing the water with an iris stem,
I rescued the swimmer,
helped it crawl to the vase lip,
then complimented myself, as if
the bug were my own invention.
It rested on the flower’s parchment,
hyperventilating, while I went off
to a day’s work. When I returned
it had climbed higher, slathering
purple flesh with froth. Stalled
in one spot like an indulgent head
lost in shampoo, it had taken
the sweet petals with it,
rolling them in babble,
till they were stunted and scabbed.
It looked so harmless at first
roiling in its own spit,
I think I shall call it
© Sandra Alcosser