for Professor Gerald W. Krantz


Migrants from your mothers, generation after generation

we spend our two-week-long lives in your eyebrows and eyelashes;


not liking light, at night we stroll about on your faces,

stretch our eight translucent legs and socialize,


while snores and nightmares rumble beneath us.

Because of us your pleasure in eye rubbing rivals that of sneezing.


We endure tar pits of mascara, guillotines of lash curlers,

tweezered separation from our families.


Alligator-shaped, exiled by hot soapy water

down drains to city sewers,


do we mutate into real alligators, terrors to the invisibles?

Forced to witness all of your deeds, we are accessories.


Our spirits warp, break.

Psycho-therapy, drugs, religion—nothing helps.


You live as though we don’t.

You will never know if we are the cement


without which your feathery souls

would not hold to your planted bodies.