The Cockroach Flu

In the opacity of the hour,
in the exhausting and dense mist of fever
I followed one of my dead cats
stepping behind its shadow
into the bathroom,

I flipped on the switch
tasting sweat and the deep pus of flu,
I had lost the ghost cat
and retched nothing and water,
painful bile and mucus pulled up from my curled toes
hacked
into my toilet’s pond cool water–

in the mirror
I hung my tongue out
staring into the metal
past the raw pink hot red at the back of my throat
where the tips of two antennae
long as swamp reeds
started stretching up,
feeling around
like safecrackers

maybe to steal my food again –

I am afraid I am turning now
into a bug,
rather:
there is a very large
bug
growing
inside of me
and the larger it gets
the less and less
there is of me,

the head and eyes
press up,
I heave
each time,
each of us
seeking
the best available option
among the roads to the sky,
its ardent wings tapping my ribs,
its tiny feet
stabbing my guts in a clamber,

at first it felt like
Blatella asahinai,
a cockroach,
but then the sick turned cricket brown,
grass green gathered in the corners of my mouth
and the kicking grew
hungry for the wind
convincing me
there is a
beautiful
six-legged
Orthoptera caelifera extremis
trying very hard
to get out of me.