Avicularia Versicolor

It creeps you out
how I love the spider,

her electric green, her lush black;
each articulation of eight legs;

silk she unspools
like secrets.

I swoon for her
whispering gait,

the appraising tap-tap
up the inside of my arm.

Her many, poor-sighted eyes
are nearly useless,

but the world’s vibrations
guide her.

Little by little,
she threads her

slipshod tunnel
and hunkers, waiting.

I’ve made her a glass house
and drop crickets in, one by one.

They live through nearly
their entire consumption,

antennae rotating crazily
as their insides liquefy.

After, I sigh
as she polishes her fangs

on her pedipalps,
exacting as a hygienist.





Francesca Bell’s poems and translations appear in many journals, including B O D Y, ELLE, Massachusetts Review, New Ohio Review, North American Review, Poetry Northwest, Prairie Schooner, and Rattle. She is the events coordinator of Marin Poetry Center and the former poetry editor of River Styx. Red Hen Press will publish her first collection, Bright Stain, in 2019.







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