Making the Centipede a Perfect Morning 


by Rushi Vyas

after Colin Walker and Haley Heynderickx

It is not about the sex.
It’s about the morning light
funneling through the window’s sheer
white drapes onto the many-legged and red
centipede who claims the wall
its playground, undulating without
regard for the triangles of sun
it slices, aloof to human
concern or lovers doing our best
to conflate pleasure with the irrational
fear of creatures we could kill
underfoot. It’s not about keeping
focus on your lobe’s curl or closing
eyes to prolong this spell of bodies
forgetting. It’s not about resisting
my reach for the vacuum’s extension or rolling
today’s news. This is about the centipede,
eerie and still on the spine
of light above our headboard, how
lying below the perched bug we
proclaim each other worth kneeling
in face of our too predictable shiver,
revulsion made law by our elect. Greeting
our spectator we imagine it might
want nothing but a little of this light.


Rushi Vyas authorRushi Vyas was named a finalist for the 2018 National Poetry Series and runner-up for the 2018 Indiana Review Poetry Prize. He served as Managing Editor of TIMBER Journal and Subito Press at the University of Colorado, where he earned his MFA in Poetry. His poetry is forthcoming from or published in Tin HouseCosmonauts AvenueThe OffingThe Journal, and elsewhere. He lives in Brooklyn.

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