Poetry

Bathroom Spiders

bathroom spiders don’t care
for your perfection. they hang from
the ceiling, bodies glittering like
onyx in the thin sunlight and their legs
all eight ten thousand
twitch when you breathe against
their webs. your breath is a god. it tears
away the defiant nest, this delicate
spun almost silver
this dancing shining haunting trap
that catches your fingers and
flies and stubbornly manifests on
your walls like an
unwelcome guest. when it grows
over the tap you
swat at it. annoyed pricked bored
with the world. it breaks
like a glass heart thrown at a
steel chest. bits of web catch in your
pretty obsidian hair. bits of spider
shudder in a one-man tango.
you don’t like it. you hiss. you gather
water in your palms
like glass shards and toss it at
the arachnid.
it scuttles into cracks

on the wall / in your calm.

it stays there. waits.

waits. waits.
lights out. you leave — door slams shut;
the darkness is endless. the bathroom bites
its pulse into silence. and then
the spider creeps out, writhing
momentarily against the
scraped paint and the web-
half destroyed.
the next morning you open
the door and find a corner full
of webs. threads like needles this
time. your breath becomes
mortal.
the spider stares back. dares you
to tear it down.
in the bathroom, where you
keep glass hearts and steel chests
to throw them at
you sigh.

                                                            ~Samyuktha Iyer 

                                                        Chennai, India

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