House Centipede

I won’t kill you but I won’t
keep you from dying either

is what I said
to the bug in the shower

which may be all we can hope for
some blank gentle observer 

to watch us climb the steep white curve
of one day and the next

as the water keeps coming
and we scramble and slip

toward the dark waiting drain
someone to say like I said 

to the small rabbit with the fly
resting on the pillow of its eye

I’m sorry you didn’t get to do this
for very long


Katherine Tunning lives in Boston with her partner and a highly variable number of cats. Some of her recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in The South Carolina Review, Washington Square Review, and Analog SF&F, among others.