The Spiders

Broomfield, CO

I put my face in

************************my hands

****************************************hours and hours


************************in the mirror it is my
                   *******              face it is not my

face                 *****            is                                                          is not

********my palm loiters on the counter above
       **     the tampon box in the drawer
               *****                     that goes

*****                                    thunk

Just leave them I said to him
but a man comes and sprays

                                                our limens

                                                cellar spiders
*******************************dangle and hurry

************************he says these webs                 hand scything through the air
************************he sends me to the
************************community office                   


                                                How can we help you?


****************I mumble through
****************silk threads my fingers
************************I’m sorry it’s the spiders         again

********************************we’ll send another man to spray them

now he wants


******                                    { my head goes                                                                                                           thunk }

********I wake in the meat department
                        styrofoam snow
****************with bloody beef
****************above in the mirror
****************it is my

face?                                                                it is not

my face                                   is                                                          is not

bloody beef

he grabs my arm

********************************my brain goes


                        I wake in the pickup

                                    leaving the Costco parking lot

I wasn’t asleep I returned

****************************************************************from the mirror?

                                    I am                                         am not

                                                            He wants


My brain goes             thunk               bloody beef

My brain goes             thunk  

                                                            bloody beef

He says he wants


            I wake up on the couch

************************in front of the tv

I wasn’t asleep I returned

***************************************************************from the kitchen?

                                    I am                            


a cheesy ad                                                                             for green card lawyers
he says                                                                                     let’s rip up your passport

My brain goes             thunk

                                    bloody beef

sure I say I have to pee

                        he’s eating pizza

                                                                                    I take off my slippers
                                                                        I take off my socks
                                                I pull my socks over my fingers
                                    so when I take my passport
                        from his dresser drawer
            it doesn’t go


              I hover over the toilet seat
****************I pull my socks off my fingers
********                        I drop my pants and squat
********************************hurrying a spider
****************************************behind the bowl
                                                                        I put on my socks
********************************************************I put on my slippers

********I hide my passport in the tampon box
********    slide the drawer quietly closed
****************so he doesn’t hear it



Kayla Geitzler is from Moncton, within Siknikt of the Mi’kma’ki, the traditional territory of the Mi’kmaq People (New Brunswick). Named “A Rad Woman of Canadian Poetry” by All Lit Up, she is Moncton’s inaugural Anglophone Poet Laureate. Her first book That Light Feeling Under Your Feet was a Calgary Bestseller & finalist for two poetry awards. Kayla is co-editor of Cadence Voix Feminines Female Voices (Frog Hollow Press 2020), the first publication of its kind in her province. Host of the Attic Owl Reading Series and Writing Life columnist for The Miramichi Reader, Kayla holds an MA in English Creative Writing. She works as an editor & writing consultant. Kayla’s writing has appeared in The FiddleheadGnaw & GnarlThirteen: New Collected Poems from LGBTQI2S Writers in CanadaPoetry Is DeadThe Antigonish Review, Chutes Reversibles 2, as well as in other Canadian literary publications. 

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