By Joan Colby
Article and photos in The National Geographic
The oribatid soil mite is a one-man band,
A Rube Goldberg concoction.
Green, orange, purple, pink,
Grotesque with a bluster of tendrils. Devilishly
Clever as the curse or blessing
Mites devour bugs, promote infection
In a dog’s ear. They mount
Tanks of army ants. Eat their
Mothers. Plow the earth like peasants.
Specialists of design and
Advantage, their preferred habitats
In horror, I read they fuck upon my
Face while I am sleeping. Attain a brief
Adulthood, lay eggs in follicles
I carefully soap and cream.
They fill up with shit and die
On my head, their chosen globe.
O, dreadful microscopic lives!
That sci-fi notion: how we might exist
As microbes on the eyelash of God.
Forgive our sins,
Monster trucks, ghastly helmets, gargoyles of
An ulterior civilization. How could we believe that love
Is our salvation.
Copyright Colby 2016
Joan Colby has published widely in journals such as Poetry, Atlanta Review, South Dakota Review, Gargoyle, Pinyon, Little Patuxent Review, Spillway, Midwestern Gothic and others. Awards include two Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards and an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Literature. She has published 20 books including Selected Poems” from FutureCycle Press which received the 2013 FutureCycle Prize and “Ribcage” from Glass Lyre Press which has been awarded the 2015 Kithara Book Prize. Three of her poems have been featured on Verse Daily and another is among the winners of the 2016 Atlanta Review International Poetry Contest. Her newest books are “Carnival” from FutureCycle Press and “The Seven Heavenly Virtues” from Kelsay Books. Her next book “Her Heartsongs’ will be published by Presa Press in 2018. Colby is a senior editor of FutureCycle Press and an associate editor of Good Works Review. Website: www.joancolby.com. Facebook: Joan Colby. Twitter: poetjm.
All work by Joan Colby