by Cynthia Reeser

That summer crawled with them, insects of every denomination: cicadas caught by the cat, wingless, came to rest in the roots of the garden we planted; sudden swarms of dragonflies whose ominous shadows danced dragony, unstinging kisses on our sunburnt shoulders, whose flight patterns warped a disruption in the glimmer-bright wavering of the pool's window reflection. And ants. First on my clothes, then in yours, in every bathroom, along every wall: desperation stingingly embodied. When they began to crawl into my dreams--courting your shirt collar like the gathered energies of a midnight slasher, ringing your neck, swarming your arteries, collaborating for the very blood in your veins--I knew it was time for a disintegration.