Seven praying mantises playing martyr before the desire to eat flickers its fight. They all look the same. Syrupy strings glue fork to midnight, envelop the kitchen table to find an excuse
like, this will make me a bad mother.
We catch on the third night, the moon following. I am rich & untouchable
I fuck three failed praxes: man is hell mantis hell man’s a helluva hole-chaser
& tell them, Tell me the good reds to soak in.
Seven wayward sons worry tumescent bug bites to crescendo in white. I disgust myself sometimes with these reductions.
RACHEL STEMPEL (she/they) is a queer Jewish poet. They are a staff writer at Up the Staircase Quarterly and EX/POST MAGAZINE and their work has appeared in/is forthcoming from The Nasiona, New Delta Review, Atlantis Magazine, Stone of Madness, SPORAZINE, Petrichor, The Journal, and elsewhere. They currently LARP as a Long Island townie.