Spider heart, fill your body with haemolymph, pump it
You don’t know how to get there.
Hook your fingertips under the bone.
push into sinus spaces surround your silk glands.
Dear spider, fill your book lung
assemble hollow flat plates
You don’t. Smooth liver membrane.
Circulate air in the library.
Spider heart, let haemolymph
flow among the book plates.
Palpate your ribcage’s edges.
Softness when you exhale.
The tight shark angles in from below.
Book lung, exchange carbon.
Here are the spiracles:
open to the outside window.
Lost on the streets, stitch in my side.
Use your pedipalps
capture prey from the street
break it into very small fragments.
Floating ribs trail into pelvic matter.
There’s a hook, and a rip.
Stand by the door.
Use your walking legs to mince prey.
No, no, pain and me.
All is calm on the sea.
Your friends will come.
Petra Kuppers is a disability culture activist, a community performance artist, and a Professor at the University of Michigan. Her books include the ecosomatic poetry collection Gut Botany, the queer/crip speculative story collection Ice Bar, and multiple academic books. She lives in Ypsilanti, Michigan, where she co-creates Turtle Disco, a somatic writing space.