portion of the artwork for Elizabeth P. Glixman's poems

The Death of a Roach
Elizabeth P. Glixman

Someday if one person wakes up as an insect
And loves the feel of it,
Or becomes a bird and floats on the air,
They will write a story about
What it feels like to be hunted by people
Only wanting to be left alone to crawl or fly.

I killed a cockroach.
I did not decapitate the insect
I did not wear a black mask.

I killed a wood cockroach. Today.

I saw it standing
In the bathroom on the white tile floor.
The legs and wings the antennae floating on white
The color was soft brown
Muted like sand dunes in the fitful heat.

I took it outside in plastic container
Threw it on the ground
Crushed the insect on the sidewalk with my shoe
It became gelatinous as the breeze blew
Over the tall listless grass that needed to be mowed.
And white oozed from inside creamy white on orange lines.

I am haunted
And entangled with parts of the insect
The soft muted brown colors
The long thin legs stretching
The way it fell breathless on its side

I killed a cockroach.

I am not a terrorist
I told myself
Then I crushed the cockroach.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 28 | Spring 2010