ODE TO THE SHOWER SPIDER / JOHN THOMAS WETMORE

We believe that we invent symbols. The truth is that they invent us…

~Gene Wolfe

I wasn’t afraid when I first saw you—
I just felt bad, thinking you must have
the worst real estate agent in history
to end up wedged between the plastic
overhang of my shower
and the dull, beige wall.

You have endured much in your tenure:
toneless renditions of death metal
echoing at disturbing volumes,
mornings after I’ve binged on ghost
pepper tacos and Mexican coffee,
plus the unexpected thud of wet
towel that shakes you in your web—
just to name a few.

Sometimes I like to pretend you
are happy there, that the steam from a hot
shower transforms my apartment
bathroom into a tropical resort,
that the tiny, scuttling ants who
creep up from the molding contain
coconut milk in their hard,
succulent abdomens.

Remember when you adventured
into the shower and I turned on the faucet
without noticing you? You must have
felt immortal when your silk caught
my finger and I lifted you out
from the deluge—maybe you felt
like a god was on your side.

Still, I know one day you will teach me
that we can weave care into anything,
when I find you on your back, curled legs
making you look so small, cradled
by the soft threads that have come
from your body.

 

 

John Thomas Wetmore received his MA in Secondary Education from the University of Connecticut. He now teaches English and creative writing at Arts at the Capitol Theater in Willimantic, CT. His poetry appears or is forthcoming in the publications Bop Dead City and Liminality. Thanks to his teaching position, most of his poems receive thorough scrutiny from a crack team of high schoolers before reaching later drafts. He is very thankful for the opportunity to witness brilliance on a daily basis with his students, and to provide a space where art and performance are a regular part of the day.