The spider you hammered
Onto the deck with your Reeboks
Viced in one veined hand
Bled chrome green innards.
It came back one too many times,
Dew jeweled, tight rope walking
Over the broken pots of butterfly weed
Even after the downpour bent locust trees
Around the house and made the gutters
Roil and warp in the force of the rain.
That green spider came back because
There was nothing else here to do
In this neighborhood. No other house
Was quite like ours; pouring mosquitoes
From the pools of molded water collected
On the grassless dirt. You didn’t mind
Killing from time to time, though I’ve watched
You quietly scoop stink bugs in your palms.
They are the the ones weeviling holes
Through our mandavias, not the spiders.
The spiders eat the bugs that you rescue
From the dusty baseboards inside the home.
The spiders are the ones you should let
Crawl over your arms and web your hair
And eat the aphids from the petunia stems.
You swat at the mosquito drinking from
The crease at the back of your knee
And tell me that spiders bite,
Claiming that’s why you had to grind
It’s body onto the wooden deck boards.
I asked if you’ve ever been bitten
And you let the silence chew holes
Through the garden between us.