by a contributor
The transparent green bug swimming
in your teacup means no harm.
No, it’s not a louse, doesn’t sting
or creep under your skin. Unaware
that people are mammals, not landscapes,
it paddles in the dregs in search
of edibles or a mate. Its life
resembles ours. Your scholarly work,
your attorney boyfriend, your office
crammed with books in high and low German
enlarge upon without replacing
the world this creature has construed.
Don’t get angry. If ignorance
is bliss, this insect is too happy
to destroy. Here’s another cup
of tea, fresh and hot. No green
insect swimming in the brew.
I’ll empty your inhabited cup
out the window. Look at how gray
the afternoon has turned. Storm clouds
blister and look eager to burst.
Under that blue and white twirl
of umbrella the dean is dancing
toward a meeting with the provost.
Finding a bug in your tea
didn’t end life as we know it.
The rain doesn’t look serious
enough to remodel the planet,
but it will wash that bug away
to some other venue where probing
with its minute feelers it may find
the mate of its dreams, or a meal
so tasty that after it eats
it will no longer be transparent.
I’m sorry you’ve lost your taste for tea,
but note how deliciously the rain
slants over the lawn, how decisively
the dean slopes her stride forward,
the angles at which we meet the world
obtuse enough to define us.
William Doreski’s most recent collection of poetry is Waiting for the Angel (2009). His work has appeared in many journals, including Massachusetts Review, Notre Dame Review, The Alembic, New England Quarterly, Harvard Review, Natural Bridge. His blog is at williamdoreski.blogspot.com.