Poem: To Please Him

by Regis Boff

He climbs on me at night
to do bug things.
“Remember our first time,”
he whispers in the mean humming pitch
of warm August night locusts?
“Always,” I whimper.
He smoothes his antennae over our pillows,
like the handsome actor.
“Are you ready to die?” He sighs,
like small talk.
“Yes, I will die.” I plead.
He is pleased,
and I am safe.

It knew
I wasn’t going to tell.
I wrapped it in thick brown paper
and ran straight home
after it raped me.
I could not leave it there.
Not knowing where it was.

At breakfast
he asks, “So what shall we do today?
So casually that I am confused.
He touches my hand, his carapace hard
and unalive. I watch my thumb caress
the shell.
In small back and forth dread.
“What would make you happy?” I said
He smiles
and I exhale.

I told him tonight
His grubs live in me.
I feel them tearing to come out.
Praying daddy longlegs scraping
and burrowing for air.
His head on my stomach
listening and whirring insect songs to them.
I stroke the needle hairs on his back.
I know he loves me.

My deceit holds no estate in him.
I have vanished into what has hurt me.
Life forbids I feel nothing at all.
I will love my children.