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Cockroaches: Ars Poetica

Chad Davidson
They know that death is merely of the body
not the species, know that their putrid chitin
is always memorable. We call them ugly
with their blackened exoskeletons,
their wall-crawlings as we paw at them.
Extreme adaptability, we say.
And where there’s one there’s probably a million
more who lie and laugh in cracks close by.
At first they seem so pitiful and base
feeding on what we leave behind. Content 
to watch us watching them, their hidden grace
is endless procreation: it keeps them constant,
believing they’ll live to read our requiem
with the godlike eyes we used to look at them.

Poem from Consolation Miracle, reprinted with permission of Southern Illinois University Press

Poem from Consolation Miracle, reprinted with permission of Southern Illinois University Press

Chad Davidson

Chad Davidson

by this poet

poem
It’s the consistency of flesh that drives us,
how a pome ascends the stairs
of its origin. A boy shakes

pears down off the higher branches
as his friends scavenge underneath,
groping for the thing necks.

If you find yourself holding one,
hungry, if that’s the word,
then you are testament

to what festers in
poem
The burner and the blackout crave you: pilot
of heat, purveyor of the innocent
candle and cigarette, light we tamed
then fed to the night. Cupped, inviolate,
a winter moth, a prayer we never sent
away, you live in seconds what we name
a life, a sudden cleansing. You Prometheus
come as toothpick, the false fire
poem
She must be milked every morning so that she will produce milk, and the milk must be 
boiled in order to be mixed with coffee to make coffee and milk.
			—Gabriel Garcia Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

Imagine the years being sucked out 
of you, the losses so numerous 
you counted gains instead: