What frightens me fascinates me.
Long legs (not surprising); fragile; a touch could
detach a limb; they are given so freely. In this
sense they are admirable creatures, free enough not
to attach a particular importance to expendable
body parts. Their movement is peculiar-- disgusting,
even; first right leg, second left leg; third right leg,
fourth left leg. And so on. It is too algorithmical
for my taste. They are completely a part of nature,
governed and imposed on by it absolutely. The female
spider is misshapen and enlarged by her reproductive responsibility.
The male spider is eaten sometimes when the female is especially hungry.
If only the males would realize their vulnerability: perhaps they
would never approach females and the species would go extinct.
These creatures cannot be native to Earth; they are
monstrous, grotesque. They haunt all my familiar
places: bedroom, shower, bookshelf. Not the most mobile
of spiders, but they’ll catch you off guard.
And their proportions are all wrong: all legs, no body.
A walking pile of skeletal limbs.
And yet there is a distinct pleasure in watching them.
What is more exciting than to witness something disgusting,
even in the form of a static being? They repel me; they attract me.
They seem to symbolize all that is perverse,
all I’d rather not recognize within myself.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.