I wonder if local people
Shudder more than others
When they read Kafka’s Metamorphosis—
You know the one where the guy turns into a cockroach.
Local folks are afraid of B-52 bombers that’s why
I mean, come on, the guy’s not going turn
Into the small, German roach
It’s way too small.
If you going turn into a roach
Better you go big or go home
They the ones that dive bomb your head on humid nights
They fearless, kamikaze-style
I wonder who they want to protect.
One time, the biggest roach I ever saw
Got stuck in my hair, all tangled up
I screamed, jumped up and down, and cried
Until my sister slapped my head with her slipper
That was worse because the guts spread all over my head.
Another time, I was sitting in the kitchen
With one leg up on the lower wooden shelf
My leg felt funny, sort of itchy but not
I didn’t shave my legs
So maybe the hair scraped against my jeans
But you know what’s coming—
I stood up and shook my pants
It was a sneak attack by a B-52
No worries, I got him.
My sister told me one time
She and my brother’s girlfriend went to eat pho
They saw something hanging from the ceiling
Like in a scary movie this dark thing kept moving
Closer and closer
They didn’t know to laugh or cry
But they finished eat fast.
Here in the islands
If you get too many roaches in your house
Big or small kind, no matter
Your house will have the smell
And if you see one roach in the daytime
That means they not scared
Because they are millions more
Just waiting for you.