It lands on my knee

to say the wave

is coming      but it’s only

a boxelder bug so I flick

—no no lover

            time to dance—

and the screen door rips cross

-wise w/ lumberjack force,

a red swarm charges.

The insects grapple my chest hair

like pirates kissing the coastline

but rougher      mouth parts scratch

-ing, they’re biting, though I think

I love it as a boy loves

his daddy      bears gone wild

on my skin, inside organs

as Octavia Butler’s “Bloodchild”

—am I pregnant? yes yes

            to the flesh I’m growing,

earth’s little warriors parasitized

my lungs into splendor     or maybe

gave me an ovipositor

to dangle below a hairy crack,

      don’t deny how much you lust it,

they telepath—      and they’re right

to assume this invasion was

anything less than wanted.


Dani Putney (they/them) is a queer, non-binary, Asian American poet exploring the West. Their poetry most recently appears or is forthcoming in Juke Joint Magazine, Lockjaw Magazine, Mojave Heart Review, and Sons and Daughters, among other publications. Presently, they're infiltrating a small conservative town in the middle of the Nevada desert.

Dani Putney