Poetry / September 2012 (Issue 18)

Suicide Bugs

by Isabel Yap

We shut the windows with particular force.
Pull down the wire screens.
Close all the open doors.
They've started to gather in the lanai:
a buzzing cloud obscuring the lights,
the rapid flutter of translucent wings.
Despite our best efforts,
some always find their way in –
divebombing onto our dinner plates,
skittering across the tiles:
these suicide bugs, desperate,
relentless. They drop from the ceiling
into the shower, the toilet bowl.
Cling to the hollows of our doorframes.
Wreck their bodies against the walls.
In the morning we gather for breakfast
and watch manang wield her broom,
clearing away their withered bodies,
the countless perfect petal shapes
of their wings. She sweeps the dead,
the barely alive, the already dust.
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