So, the date bars you gave me were full of weevils,
scores of them writhing about, and miniature moths flapping.
I didn’t notice until my second one, far past the first bite.
Did I vomit? I did not. I quoted Nietszche to myself,
That which doesn’t kill me makes me, etc. but I did wonder
if you knew they were ancient, if you had gifted me
decay to make a point. Down with the infidel! Down
with the decadence of the West! Well, you must bear
some of the blame; I had to cauterize my gut with shots
of tequila and take God’s name in vain. It will be awkward
when we meet again, you thinking you have earned special
merit from the gift, or maybe that you have pulled a fast one,
and me remembering tiny carapaces on gum and tongue tip. Beware
gifts, no less the gift of life itself. You will discover its tricks
well in, past the point of no return. Swallow. Carry on.
Devon Balwit is a poet and teacher writing in Portland, Oregon. She has recent work published or upcoming in NewVerse News, The Cape Rock, The Fem, Of(f) Course, drylandlit_press, and The Prick of the Spindle. Her dog reminds her that each day is its own delight.