This poor fucking cricket unknowingly
drank you from some puddle–
And after your baptism
you lived inside her bloodstream,
penetrated your hooks and stylets
into soft epithelia,
spread your threads,
wrapped your rope,
and tied your Gordian knot
around a body cavity that sustained
You changed the protein in her brain–
Made her jump for you.
Her pain never mattered.
She was just a space for you
to grow inside.
It wasn’t enough–
It’s never enough
to be a parasite.
I bet you weren’t even satisfied
to see the sun
as you bore through her gut wall
sliding triumphantly on to the wet sidewalk.
Victoria Nordlund received her MALS from Wesleyan University. She teaches creative writing at Rockville High School in Vernon, CT. She is also an adjunct professor at the University of Connecticut. Her work is published in Pank Magazine, Gone Lawn, Eunoia Review, Ghost Proposal, and Amaryllis. She is the 2016 NEATE New England Poet of the Year.