Banded Fishing Spider · Waldo Semon Woods

Fishing Spider

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by Charlie Malone

You meet her, among the cracks
and right angles of Deep Lock Quarry.

She crabs back to cover her clutch of eggs.

Your muscles go taut in the same way
wild, and unconsidered—heart quick
without enough breath to compare
your relative mass, you back away.

I tell you she can prey on fish five times her body size
just to turn your blood on. Pumping too loud in your ears
to consider her family: the nursery web spiders
—a different way to name her.

I wonder what is/isn’t automatic or natural?

We ought to be careful, looking over the menu at Fisher’s Cafe,
that no one decides to name us by what we consume:

Bread people, beef people, egg crushers & cheese melters, oil
folks & forest eaters, mountain top destroyers, those who confuse shame for power — then swallow it all, drainers of rivers, desert makers, 73 hot dogs in 10 minutes, entire neighborhoods of old homes, feeding on memory, feeding on self-improvement, clutching our eggs & our pets close to the tangle of veins & arteries & nerves in our core, web of ribs, sternum & carapace.

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